Leonardo da vinci society annual lecture 2012

New Evidence of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper as a Humanist Contribution

Friday, 27 April 2012

18.00 – 19.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Da Vinci's The Last Supper annotated with white lines and numbers
Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, 1496-98, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan, with superimposed white lines and numbers. Courtesy Matthew Landrus

Speaker(s): Dr Matthew Landrus (Rhode Island School of Design and University of Oxford)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Prof Francis Ames-Lewis (Birkbeck)

Following an extensive period of research on the recently restored Last Supper, there is new evidence of Leonardo’s intentions for it as a Humanist contribution to the Sforza Court. Detailed assessments of the painting’s preparatory marks, measurements, designs, and associated texts offer proof of its role within the socio-political activities of the Court, and more specifically within a Humanist debate developing in Florence and Milan. It was for Leonardo an opportunity to argue in a visual manner the role of Painting as the ultimate artifice of Nature, reason and experience. His Last Supper is in this case a more complex, holistic contribution than previously determined, an early form of manifesto on Painting as a systematic, Humanist discourse within the Liberal Arts.

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