2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ARTH 231 - Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci is often regarded as the Renaissance epitome of the “universal man.” This seminar will help students reach a deeper understanding of Leonardo’s achievements and working methods as an artist, architect, anatomist and engineer. As our own age moves towards narrower specialization, the myth of Leonardo looms large as an unreachable ideal of “genius.” How relevant is Leonardo, and how might one unite humanistic and artistic thinking with the latest advances in science and engineering? What role did aesthetic knowledge play in the life of Leonardo, and what assumptions do we make about aesthetics today? What methods did Leonardo use to cultivate and express his intellect? Analyzing Leonardo’s paintings and notebooks will provide an introduction to developments in Renaissance Art. We will examine various writings about Leonardo in an effort to develop a critical understanding of biography and its tropes. Students will learn fundamental methods of art historical analysis while engaging in their own attempts to ‘decode’ the works of the master as well as more recent art that engages with science and technology. The course will interweave historical study of aesthetics, sixteenth-century “science”, and technology. In the process, each student will be encouraged to find ways to make Leonardo’s example relevant to his or her own intellectual development.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Offered every other year