Thinking of Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years on

25 July 2019 1.00pm 2.00pm


Lecture Theatre, Weston Library (Map)


Dr Matthew Landrus


Janet Walwyn | | 01865 287156


For over five hundred years Leonardo da Vinci has earned praise as one of the great thinkers of all-time. As a painter, engineer, natural philosopher, or anatomist – or in a number of other professions – Leonardo is known for his exceptional investigative and inventive approaches.

What sets him apart from his contemporaries, and those who have followed in successive centuries, is also a combination of two primary circumstances: his ability to solve complex three-dimensional problems on two-dimensional surfaces, and the unusual survival of this evidence on nearly 6000 notebook pages and two dozen paintings; by conservative estimates this is only a quarter of his original output. The quincentenary of Leonardo’s death offers an opportunity to reflect upon his legacy, while also questioning what he wanted others to remember of him. The rare survival of so much informative material is due in part to his interest in thinking on paper, collecting information, and sharing those ideas with others.

For Thinking 3D: from Leonardo to the present, the 2019 Bodleian Treasury Exhibition, the selection of Leonardo drawings addresses primarily his personal intellectual interests during his last eleven years. He revisited during this late period a programme of writing an ambitious series of books, begun twenty years earlier, covering a broad range of topics.

The lecture and discussion will address this approach by Leonardo to the final developments of his treatise programme, particularly with regard to drawings in the exhibition.


This event is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance.

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This event is listed under: Lectures and talks; Free events
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