Recent and forthcoming events The Annual General Meeting and Annual Lecture for 2003

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Leonardo da Vinci Society Newsletter

editor: Francis Ames-Lewis

Issue 22, May / November 2003

Recent and forthcoming events

The Annual General Meeting and Annual Lecture for 2003

The 2003 AGM was held on Friday May 2nd 2003, at Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD, lecture room 1. It was followed by a lecture given by Dr Antonio Criminisi, who works for Microsoft at their establishment in Cambridge (UK). Charlie Gere (School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College) writes: Antonio Criminisi of MicroSoft gave an interesting presentation to the Leonardo da Vinci Society of work he has been undertaking in using computer-vision techniques to analyse three-dimensional spaces in paintings. Dr Criminisi and his colleagues, among whom is Professor Martin Kemp (University of Oxford), have designed a method whereby such information can be recovered using only a single view. This makes it possible to construct convincing three-dimensional models of spaces in both paintings and photographs. In technical and scientific terms at least this work is most ingenious and enables the construction of some impressive animations around the space of Piero della Francesca’s Flagellation and other such works.

It did however beg a number of questions about the ultimate value of such work, certainly as far as art history is concerned, and maybe in terms of computer-vision research. This is due to a certain degree of circularity in the aims and methods. Dr Criminisi and his colleagues are using machinery that employs a particular model

of vision, one which approximates human vision well enough for most purposes, but is in fact different in many important respects. They are using it to analyse forms of representation, paintings and photographs, that use exactly the same model. (It is possible that this kind of analysis is only possible with such flat, monocular and static representations.) It is therefore perhaps not surprising that, as far as one could tell from the presentation, little of interest was revealed, beyond apparent confirmation of certain claims about the shapes of geometric elements in the paintings analysed. Even then what was supposedly revealed was subject to interpretation and remained ambiguous. This is, of course, not to suggest that this interesting and technically sophisticated research is irrelevant, but we should remember that, as far as computers are concerned, the information you get out is only at best as good as the information you put in, and that often such information is fairly limited.

Reconstructions in the History of Science and Technology
On July 15th 2003 the Society presented, in association with the Royal Institution, a symposium on ‘Reconstructions in the History of Science and Technology’. This was held at the Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS, from 9.30 am. The organisers (Frank A.J.L. James (Royal Institution) and Matthew Landrus (Wolfson College, Oxford)) write: ‘Building a bird-like flying machine from a design by Leonardo da Vinci is fun. But what do we learn by making machines or repeating experiments?’ The symposium looked at various reconstructions, ranging from Leonardo’s glider to a Colossus machine used in codebreaking at Bletchley Park, taking in famous experiments by Galileo and Faraday, and Edison’s invention of the electric light bulb. There will of course be live demonstrations.’ Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck College) writes: The one day conference Reconstructions in the History of Science and Technology held at the Royal Institution this summer provided much food for historiographical thought. Martin Kemp and Steven Roberts began the day on an appropriately Leonardesque note with their presentation on the research which had gone into the reconstruction of Leonardo’s glider for a BBC TV programme. Martin Kemp proposed a provisional (but heuristically useful) taxonomy of reconstructions, drawing a distinction between what he called the “pious replica” which seeks to provide an unimpeachable copy of the exemplary historical object and the replica as research tool (where the act of reconstructions provides insights into scientific or technological processes). The analytical character of Leonardo’s drawings lent themselves very well to the second kind of reconstruction, Kemp argued, and Steven Roberts – who charted the technical difficulties and frustrations of actually realising Leonardo’s invention over four hundred years after the fact – concurred. While the project strove as far as possible to utilise materials which would have been available to Leonardo, concessions had to be made (not least for the sake of the safety of the glider’s test-pilot). What the presentations of Kemp and Roberts brought home clearly is the extent to which dialogue between engineers and academic researchers can bring to light unnoticed details and problems in the archival evidence.
Thomas B. Settle’s paper on the use of reconstructions in understanding the experiments of Galileo also stressed the importance of simulation rather than replication. His reconstructions of Galileo’s famous inclined plane experiments made use of components which would not have been found in Galileo’s original (a calibrated measuring jug and a flowerpot!) but none the less enabled an understanding of the experimental process. Settle compared this with some ornate eighteenth century wooden devices in the Galileo Room in the Museo della Storia di Scienza in Florence, whose purpose was more institutional and performative than practical. Some video footage of a replication of Galileo’s free fall experiments also cast light on the unreliability of controlled conditions in the early modern period. Modern trials had established that variations in measurements had as much to do with physiology as physics, as video recordings detected significant delays between the release of a hand gripping a heavy object as opposed to a light one. Such reconstructions Settle argued could help us to understand how early modern experimenters like Galileo obtained the results that they did. A failed attempt by Professor Settle to replicate an experiment with wave patterns in a wine glass which had worked many times before in public presentations was also a timely reminder of the occasional capriciousness of experimental events.
After lunch David Gooding gave a paper on the experiments of Michael Faraday which showed how reconstructions could help us “full in the blanks” in experimental narratives. Gooding emphasised the differences between the experimental approaches of Humphrey Davy and his younger assistant. While Davy sought to move quickly from experimental data to geometrical models, Gooding argued, Faraday’s experiments were more attuned to the complexities of puzzling phenomena, and typical began by trying various methods of modelling the observed phenomena before proceeding to the analysis of the phenomena. Faraday’s apparatuses, Gooding suggested were “imaging devices” which allowed him to represent completely novel phenomena and communicate them in “information-rich images”. Reproducing Faraday’s experiments, he suggested, could help us to come to a closer understanding of Faraday’s experimental notebooks, by emulating the interconnectedness of making, seeing and thinking in Faraday’s original work the historian of science would be better equipped to advance interpretations of particular experiments.
Tony Sale’s presentation and video screening bore vivid testimony to the enormous painstaking undertaking of reconstructing the second world war Colossus code-breaking machine. Like Professor Settle’s attempts to reconstruct Galileo’s water-clock (only on a considerably largely scale) Sale describes how he used bread-boards, shoe-boxes and MG headlamps to replicate the complex workings of the machine. With a few remaining photographs and scraps of circuit diagrams from the original designers and users of the Colossus, Sale and his colleagues set out to re-imagine the structure of the original machine, which had been completely dismantled at the end of the war in the interests of “security”. Again reconstruction was linked to understanding – to reconstruct the Colossus, Sale told us, was to inhabit the mindset of the people who built it. Looking at the video of the machine functioning one couldn’t help thinking that the reconstruction took almost as much inventiveness and imagination as the original.
More popular (or populist) notions of reconstruction were represented by two figures from the world of Television, Tim Hunkin and Adam Hart-Davis. Hunkin, who introduced himself as “a cartoonist and engineer” was an endearingly Brawnstawmian character who delighted us (but alarmed the Royal Institution staff) with various hair-raising experiments involving high voltage electricity. The “reconstruction” of an electric light bulb using a milk bottle with a graphite pencil as a “filament” was particularly striking. An attempt at reproducing magnetic tape using sellotape and powdered rust sadly misfired when the finished product was snarled up by the machinery of the reel-to-reel tape recorder with which it was recorded (which, as I remember was always a problem with this technology)! Adam Hart-Davis’s evening lecture was very well-attended, and although it did revolve around a series of “favourite clips” in a rather too self-congratulatory fashion for my taste, the difficulties confronted by the programme makers did remind us of some of the themes of the day on a lighter note.
The speakers are: Martin Kemp and Steven Roberts on ‘Leonardo’s glider’, Thomas B. Settle on ‘Experimental Research: the Case of Galileo, David Gooding on ‘Faraday’, Tim Hunkin on ‘Reinventing Electricity’, and Tony Sale on ‘World War II Colossus’. After a Reception Adam Hart-Davis will give a special lecture entitled ‘Reconstructions I have known, Loved and Hated’.

Leonardesque News
An exhibition of ‘Leonardo da Vinci: The Divine and the Grotesque’
The exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci: The Divine and the Grotesque moved from the new Queen’s Gallery at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, and opened on 9 May at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace where it was displayed until 9 November 2003. At the Queen’s Gallery the drawings were handsomely mounted against a royal blue of a relatively bright hue. Many of the drawings were well known, but there were also some unexpected surprises and drawings that have seldom if ever been exhibited in public before. The first, small room displayed studies of the proportion of man and horse, and a group of fully finished ‘academic’ male nude studies. The principal room opened with groups of ‘Ideal Heads’ both male and female: a series of male heads in profile, and a sequence of studies for the head and coiffure of Leda for the lost Leda and the Swan. Two series of studies of grotesque types, and of masquerade costumes, lined the long walls of the main gallery. Finally, the group of five studies of heads of Apostles for the Last Supper, perhaps the major lacuna from the magnificent ‘Leonardo da Vinci. Master Draftsman’ exhibition recently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (see the next item in this Newsletter), were proudly and finely displayed on the end wall of this gallery. The beautifully designed and produced book that accompanied the exhibition is published by Royal Collection Enterprises Ltd, at £ 30.00. It is lavishly illustrated, largely in colour; the introduction and catalogue entries are by Martin Clayton.
Leonardo da Vinci drawings in New York
Rodney Palmer writes: The exhibition at the Metropolitan Musum of Leonardo da Vinci Master Draftsman presented over a hundred sheets by Leonardo together with forty or so drawings by his teacher Andrea del Verrocchio and students Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Bernardino Luini, Francesco Melzi, Andrea Solario and others. Leonardo’s fulchral position in the history of art between Florentine Quattrocento naturalism and the expressive possibilities of the Cinquecento emerged clearly from a display which while basically chronological missed no opportunity to juxtapose drawings by Leonardo with those by forerunners and followers.

In the first room the exceptional quality of Verrocchio’s drawings, for instance his Head of a Young Woman in Three-Quarter View (British Museum) and Sketches of Infants (Louvre), and the extent to which these drawings set direct exemplars to Leonardo for sketching the female face and childrens’ bodies in motion has never been so well proven. The second room was largely devoted to compositional studies for The Adoration of the Magi: including studies from Hamburg and Venice as well as from London and Paris. Leonardo’s Florentine culture emerges frequently thereafter, for instance in the juxtaposition of Antonio del Pollaiuolo’s Metropolitan Study for an Equestrian Monument with Leonardo’s Windsor Study for the Sforza Monument.. Throughout drawings were wherever possible arranged in relation to specific commissions.

One group of drawings reunited for perhaps the first time was the Rotterdam and Chatsworth Kneeling Ledas together with the Louvre standing Leda and the Swan after Leonardo. In the final room, eight spreads of the Codex Leicester were handsomely exhibited; throughout, Leonardo’s several sheets with drawings both on the recto and verso were shown to full advantage in glass cases. Even in the company of the Codex Leicester and many fine late drawings, Leonardo’s followers appeared better than ever before, especially in a wall of pastel portraits by Boltraffio, Solario and others.

Edited by Carmen C. Bambach of the Metropolitan Muaseum of Art, with contributions from Martin Kemp, Carlo Pedretti and many other leading Leonardo scholars, including for instance Claire Farago on the Codex Leicester, the catalogue is big and generously illustrated (almost all of the Codex Leicester is replicated). Nor are the authors scared of new hypotheses: for instance that Leonardo executed two versions of Leda and the Swan. At $65 the hardback is a bargain; at $55, because almost as heavy and expensive but fragile, the paperback is less so.
Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Jan. – March 2003. Catalogue, ed. Carmen C. Bambach, Metropolitan Museum/Yale University Press 2003, 800pp., 515 illustrations including 333 colour plates; ISBN 1-58839-033-0 (hc), 1-58839-034-9 (pbk).
For the duration of the exhibition, the Metropolitan Museum ran an extensive web site connected with the exhibition. Fittingly given Leonardo’s own technical inventiveness, this site pioneered the application to art historical ends of ‘zoom-in’ technology, which allows the browser to magnify the whole or a selected part of any image.

A further by-product of the exhibition was a CAA conference session at the Metropolitan Museum. Ingenuously entitled ‘The Timeless Genius of Leonardo da Vinci: New Research’, it was chaired by Bambach, who opened with the rhetorical question whether there was room for new Leonardo studies? To this she gave a resounding if qualified yes: there is more to be said on broader questions such as that of Leonardo’s relationship to science. Dennis Geronimus, on Leonardo and the expressive landscape in Florence, argued that Leonardo, Piero di Cosmo and Filippino Lippi together formed a triad ‘antithetical’ to the decorative landscapes of Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and their schools. Geraldine R. Lampke Bass suggested that the exhibited St. Jerome was commissioned by a Florentine Hieronymite Confraternity. Denise Budd’s argument that the Belle Ferronière is a betrothal painting of Ludovico il Moro Sforza’s daughter Bianca Maria was well-supported by documentary and heraldic evidence as well as by comparison with portraits known to be of the same sitter. Joanna Woods-Marsden objected to the identification of the old-fashioned composition as chronologically between the Ginevra de’ Benci and Cecilia Gallerani. In short, while the identity of the sitter now seems all but resolved, there remains a shadow of a doubt that the Belle Ferronière is by Leonardo. That said, one explanation given for the Belle Ferronière’s awkwardness within the chronology of Leonardo’s work was precisely its distinct context as a betrothal painting.

An exhibition of Léonard de Vinci. Dessins et manuscrits at the Musée du Louvre, Paris
A good many of the Leonardo da Vinci drawings and others earlier displayed in the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art we also on display at the Musée du Louvre, in an exhibition that opened on 5 May and closed on 14 July 2003. Here the display was thematic, with groups of drawings devoted to allegories, ‘Armes et architectures’, grotesques, and so on, although a sense of chronology was retained. The most important expansion of the New York exhibition was the inclusion of the twelve Leonardo notebooks held by the Institut de France. Some of these were opened at pages that directly related to neighbouring drawings or projects, while others were somewhat randomely displayed. In general, however, they made a major contribution to the visitor’s sense of the diverse range of functions of drawing for Leonardo. Another welcome addition to the New York display was a small group of drawings loaned from the Uffizi, Florence.

Some areas of the display were somewhat cramped: a group of early studies for the ‘Madonna and Child’ were set out in the narrow but cavernous second room, and an excellent (though not fully comprehensive) group of drawings for the Adoration of the Magi occupied a corridor-shaped space in which circulation was further impeded by the necessary display cases for double-sided drawings. By contrast, drawings by Leonardo’s Milanese followers, which tend to hold the attention of fewer visitors, were shown in more open spaces. The room devoted to ‘Portraits’ included the celebrated cartoon for the portrait of Isabella d’ Este, the small panel showing the Head of a young woman, known as ‘la Scapiliata’ (Parma, Galleria Nazionale) which may seem to some a questionable attribution to Leonardo himself, and some ten smaller sheets of which one or two might be portraits but most are studies of facial types. These led towards an extensive display of ‘Les grotesques’, based around four groups of postage-stamp sized sketches of grotesque types loaned from Chatsworth, and examining their later history through copies by Leonardo followers and others in the seventeenth century (the so-called ‘Album Mariette’, with drawings perhaps by Constantin Huygens the Younger) and engravings after these, dating from 1730, in the ‘Album Caylus’.

The finest groups of Leonardo da Vinci drawings were those for the Battle of Anghiari and for the Madonna and Child with St Anne. To the extensive Anghiari group shown in New York, which included the sketches in Venice and Windsor Castle and the two head studies in Budapest still together in this exhibition, was added the brief black-chalk sketch for the soldier to the right in the ‘Fight for the Standard’ made by Leonardo on f.14v of Institut de France Ms K. Perhaps the richest collection, however, is gathered around the Louvre’s own Madonna and Child with Saint Anne, brought down for this exhibition from the Italian Renaissance galleries to the below-ground display space. A group of preparatory sketches for this and related multi-figure compositions was followed by two Windsor studies of geological formations that are related to the foreground and background of the painting, and by four of the refined and technically complex drapery studies which may be directly compared with passages in the painted figure-group.

Finally the visitor reached a large exhibition space in which a grand-scale powerpoint display provided an inch-by-inch survey of the restored state of the Last Supper. This was perhaps included in lieu of drawings for that composition, most of which were included in the concurrent display at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. However, given the cramped conditions in the first four rooms of the Louvre exhibition, the visitor might have felt that the display spaces had been somewhat eccentrically allocated.

The catalogue, edited by Françoise Viatte with the assistance of Varena Forcione, approaches in scale that of the New York exhibition. Léonard de Vinci. Dessins et manuscrits, Paris (Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux) 2003. 495pp. ISBN 2-7118-4589-3.
Lettura Vinciana XLIII: ‘Leonardo nella Roma di Leone X (c.1513-16)’, given by Domenico Laurenza.
The 43rd Lettura Vinciana was delivered at the Biblioteca Leonardiana, Vinci, on Saturday 12 April 2003. Between 1513 and 1516 Leonardo lived in the Vatican. During those years, under the pontificate of a Medici Pope, Leo X, there gathered in Rome the greatest cultural representatives of the age, including artists such as Raphael, Bramante and Michelangelo. This Lettura Vinciana made a start on a reconsideration of this phase of Leonardo’s work. Dr Laurenza first of all analyzed the anatomical studies, proposing some new dates and a new interpretation of the famous passage in which Leonardo touches on the accusations brought against him following the dissections that he has carried out. Dr Laurenza also examined other aspects of Leonardo’s activity (both artistic and ‘macchinali’, or machine-related) during this period, and pointed out new and unpublished relations between Leonardo and the cultural background and historical events that he experienced in Leonine Rome.
New ‘Notebook’ translations from the Ente Raccolta Vinciana
We have received copies of The manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci in the Institut de France: manuscripts E, F and G (three separate volumes), translated and annotated by John Venerella, Milano: Ente Raccolta Vinciana, 2002, and more recently The manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci in the Institut de France: manuscript B, translated and annotated by John Venerella, Milano: Ente Raccolta Vinciana, 2003. Much of Ms E is taken up with consideration of the ‘Science of weights’ and its application in flight, especially the study of the flight of birds. The first third of Ms G considers the morphology of plants; other preoccupations are geometrical issues and the production and application of the concave ‘burning mirror’. Ms F is largely concerned with water, its forms and movements, with optics and the science of seeing a subsidiary interest. Much of the text and illustration of Ms B is devoted to military science; in addition there are notes and illustrations of architecture, both military and religious, and projects for an ‘ideal city’. Seven of the twelve notebooks in the Institut de France have now been published in English translation.
More yet on the exhibition of ‘Leonardo da Vinci and Music’ in Madrid
In the May 2002 issue of this Newsletter it was announced that to coincide with the 550th anniversary of Leonardo’s birth an exhibition about the relationship between ‘Leonardo da Vinci and Music’ is in preparation at the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid. Further news of this exhibition was given in the November 2002 issue of the Newsletter. The exhibition, which proposes a contemporary approach to Leonardo through music and has cutting-edge installations designed to be understood by adults and children alike, has now completed its showing in Madrid, and has started its international travels. The exhibition’s objectives are to propose a contemporary revision of Leonardo’s thinking through music; to exhibit the two Madrid codices for the first time; and to bring visitors closer to Renaissance music and culture. Its contents include consideration of Leonardo’s place within the Italian Renaissance musical tradition and his relations with contemporary musicians; reconstructions of both major musical instruments, such as his paper organ (built by Joachín Lois), and minor ones such as bagpipes, keyed flutes, mechanical drums and cymbals, bells, bellows and rattles, based on notes in the Madrid codices; and Leonardo’s research in acoustics. The codices themselves are not travelling outside Madrid, but in other venues will be replaced by facsimiles, and accessible through a CD-ROM.

Other events associated with this exhibition were an international congress revolving around Leonardo’s thought and his relationship with music; a concert of music by contemporaries of Leonardo and played on instruments conceived by him; and a Renaissance banquet with a menu designed by Veronique Gladstone, a chef who specialises in historic cuisine, and based on reinterpretations of Leonardo’s recipes.

The Universal Leonardo Project

Many members of the Leonardo da Vinci Society will already have learned with interest of the establishment by Professor Martin Kemp (University of Oxford) and Marina Wallace (Central St Martin’s School of Art) of the ‘Universal Leonardo Project’. Initial private backing will lead, it is hoped, to the financial support of the Council of Europe. The Project’s aims are:
to provide a world-wide public with the greatest presentation of any major figure in art or science, through an entirely new kind of exhibition;

to deliver a wholly new experience for popular and scholarly audiences through personal interaction in a variety of locations, sustained by new technologies, the media and traditional publication, blending the experience of the real and virtual in a radically new way;

to enrich major national initiatives of scholarship, scientific examination and conservation through international collaboration; and to stimulate new investigative projects in those institutions and venues that hold Leonardo’s works and are centres for research into Leonardo’s legacy;

to establish with the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence a laboratory for the scientific analysis of Leonardo’s work; and to promote a new way of reconciling the requirements of conservation with the demands for access; and

to stage a unified virtual exhibition through which visitors at each site can gain access to tailored programmes of supporting material; to provide an enduring digital resource for access via the internet, interactive TV, and other fiure platforms; and to sustain an active web site as a major public and scholarly resource after 2006.
The central aim of the Leonardo Laboratory for Scientific Research and Analysis, based at the Opificio delle Piere Dure in Florence, is for those institutions holding paintings by Leonardo to be involved in an intense visual and technical analysis of Leonardo’s means and ends. The work will involve the coordination and execution of a programme of scientific research and non-invasive analysis using x-ray and ultra-violet examination, x-ray fluorescence, fibre-optic reflectance spectroscopy, Fourier Transfer and infra-red Spectroscopy, and sub-atomic analysis using the PIXE system and CAT scan. The Opificio has already carried out these examinations on one painting by Leonardo, in a private collection, with spectacular results. The ambition is to produce as far as possible commensurate results from all the paintings anaysed, by using the same (or very similar) equipment which will be for the most part mobile, and employing a core group of people for all the examinations.

It is hoped that this scientific research will be completed by the time that a series of exhibitions, as yet at a preliminary stage of preparation, is mounted in 2006 at various venues in Europe and North America. In the UK there will be exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum, on ‘Leonardo: Imagination, Experiment and Design’ in which drawings loaned from the Royal Library and the British Museum will be displayed alongside the V&A’s Forster Codices, and a series of small exhibitions in Oxford. Exhibitions in Italy will centre on Milan, at Santa Maria delle Grazie and at the Castello Sforzesco, and Florence. It is also hoped that elsewhere, at Krakow, Munich, Paris, St Petersburg there may be exhibitions that document the results of the scientific analysis of other paintings by Leonardo.

An important meeting that brought together many interested parties and placed the project more fully in the public arena, was held in London from 29 September to 1 October. Detailed presentations were made about the series of exhibitions planned for 2006, and the progress made on these thus far; and on the techniques of scientific analysis to be used by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (outlined above). More definition about the plans for exhibitions in Italy was provided. In Milan the Soprindente per il Patrimonio Storico is planning an exhibition exploring Leonardo’s and others’ work at Santa Maria delle Grazie; a video exploration of the Last Supper focussing on Leonardo’s pictorial technique; and the creation of an electronic archive on the history of the Last Supper. At the Raccolta Vinciana a display will trace the later history of the Trattato della Pittura; the Museo di Storia della Scienza in Florence will mount an exhibition of ‘Leonardo: Science and Technology; and at the Palazzo Strozzi (or some other Florentine venue) there will be a major exhibition of ‘Leonardo and the Cirty of Florence’, concentrating on the periuods 1472-81 and 1500-07. It is also proposed that an exhibition of ‘Isabella d’Este and Leonardo da Vinci’ should be mounted at the Palazzo Tè in Mantua, to follow the planned display there in 2005 of the Codex Leicester. Finally, it is hoped that there will also be an exhibition, at a venue yet to be determined, on ‘Leonardo: Making a Madonna’, based around the group of Madonna and Child with a Cat drawings held at the British Museum. The inaugural Project meeting also provided the opportunity of a private viewing of the Victoria & Albert Museums’s Codex Forster, presented by Rowan Watson (Head of Collection Development, National Art Library) and Martin Kemp; and to hear a remarkable lecture given by Francis C. Wells (a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge) on ‘Leonardo’s Anatomy through the Eyes of a Surgeon: Conundrums and Revelations’.
A second ‘Universal Leonardo Project’ conference was held recently (10-11 December) in Paris. Dedicated to the scientific work of the Leonardo Laboratory, this meeting established a new level of collaboration betwen the scientific bodies involved in the programme, and amongst institutions that hold paintings by Leonardo. A further report will appear in this Newsletter in due course. Meanwhile, the ‘Universal Leonardo Bureau’ has been set up at Central St Martin’s School of Art, staffed by the Project Director, Sandy Mallet, and his team. Dr Robert Anderson, formerly Director of the British Museumn, has been appointed to the Project as Exhibitions Advisor. News of further developments of this ambitious project will be published in future issues of this Newsletter.

The Leonardo da Vinci Society
We would always be grateful for suggestions of material, such as forthcoming conferences, symposia and other events, exhibitions, publications and so on, that would be of interest to members of the Society for inclusion in this Newsletter or on the Society’s webpage, which can be visited at:

President: Dr J.V. Field, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H.0PD;


Vice-President: Professor Francis Ames-Lewis, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H.0PD; 020.7631.6108;


Secretary/Treasurer: Dr Gabriele Neher, Department of Art History, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7.2RD, UK;

Committee members:

Rodney Palmer, 88 Ifield Road, London SW10.9AD;


Frank A.J.L. James, Royal Institution Centre for the History of Science and Technology, Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1X.4BS; e-mail:

Matthew Landrus, Wolfson College, Oxford, OX2 6UD; e-mail:

Please send items for publication to the editor of the Leonardo da Vinci Society Newsletter, Francis Ames-Lewis, School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD; fax: 020.7631.6107;

The editor wishes to apologise on behalf of the Leonardo da Vinci Society that it proved impossible to distribute issue 22 in May 2003. For reasons beyond our control it became necessary to combine the issues that would under normal circumstances have been produced in May and November 2003 into this single issue.

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