Week 3 - Craftsmen and Scholars

In the third week NEH Summer Scholars will delve into the theoretical foundations of Leonardo's investigation of the natural world, addressing the issues of his sources, his debt to earlier authors, and his own personal contribution to the conceptualization and visualization of old and new scientific problems. Themes pertaining to the circulation of practical and theoretical knowledge will dominate the discussion, with a special emphasis on the transmission and contacts between craftsmen's workshops and universities, academies, and courts.

Paolo Galluzzi, Director of the Museo Galileo, Florence, and Professor of the History of Science, was the curator of many exhibitions including Mechanical Marvels: Invention in the Age of Leonardo (1996) and Leonardo's Mind (2006). An expert on Leonardo's scientific thought, Galluzzi will present the problems pertaining to Leonardo's technical drawings and manuscripts.

Sven Dupré, Director of the Center for History of Science and Professor of History of Science, University of Ghent (Netherlands), will explore networks for the exchange and dissemination of scientific knowledge and Leonardo's participation in them. A cultural historian of science, the coordinator of the collaborative project Circulating Knowledge in Early Modern Science (Flanders) and the curator of the exhibition Galileo's Telescope: The Instrument that Changed the World (Museo Galileo, Florence, 2008), Dupré has worked extensively on optics, instruments, and experiments, and the relations between science and material culture.

Domenico Laurenza, researcher at the Museo Galileo, is an expert on Leonardo's anatomical studies, having written the acclaimed book De figura umana: fisiognomica, anatomia e arte in Leonardo (2003). He is currently editing a critical edition of Leonardo's Codex Leicester. Under his guidance NEH Summer Scholars will explore Leonardo's anatomical project, the artist's stunning anatomical drawings, and the place of anatomy within Leonardo's vision of art and science.

Frank Fehrenbach, Professor of Art History, Harvard University, will focus on Leonardo's knowledge of optics, showing the artist's connection with the medieval optical tradition as well as the artist's original interpretation of well-established religious subjects. In his research, Fehrenbach combines the close analysis of images and texts with wide ranging conclusions on art, science, and religion.