Fall 2012 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
We're very familiar with the concept of the Renaissance Man who gracefully strides between disciplines without showing any strain. Leonardo da Vinci--painter, courtier, musician, scientist, military engineer, mapmaker, and restless experimenter--is often seen as the quintessential representative of the type. Yet his own career had remarkable ups and downs, and much of the image that we have of Leonardo was formed in modern times (via Freud and many others) rather than reflective of how he was esteemed in his own era. This graduate seminar will explore his culture of experiment, the context in which he worked, and the possibilities then available to the interdisciplinary mind.
We will begin by getting familiar with his biography, then discuss thematic topics: his depiction of nature; his conception of the human form; his treatment of war; his consideration of optics and perspective; his engagement with the scientific community of his time; his use and development of technology.
Among the authors we will read are: Freud, Meyer Schapiro, E. H. Gombrich, Martin Kemp, Leo Steinberg, Carlo Pedretti, and, of course, Leonardo himself.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: