Herzberg Lecture – Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi: The Story and The Research by Martin Kemp

Herzberg Lecture – Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi: The Story and The Research by Martin Kemp

Categories: General, Lectures and Seminars, Receptions, Lunches and Dinners | Intended for

Thursday, November 21, 2019

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Atrium Richcraft Building

1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON

Contact Information

Jessie Cartwright, 61352026008760, odscience@carleton.ca


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About this Event

Host Organization: Office of the Dean of Science


Things are rarely straightforward with Leonardo. Myths proliferate.  His rediscovered  Salvator, revealed to the public for the first time in 2011, has already been engulfed by stories that have little to do with the picture itself. The lecture will provide an accurate account of its discovery, provenance, exhibition, reception and sale (for $450 million!), and will look at all aspects of the image in the contexts of Leonardo's career, showing how it embodies his unique fusion of science, imagination, psychology and theology. It is this fusion that precludes its attribution to anyone other than Leonardo himself.

Speaker Bio:

Martin Kemp is Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art at Oxford University. He has written and broadcast extensively on imagery in art and science from the Renaissance to the present day. He speaks on issues of visualisation and lateral thinking to a wide range of audiences. Leonardo da Vinci has been the subject of books written by him, including Leonardo (Oxford University Press 2004). He has published on imagery in the sciences of anatomy, natural history and optics, including The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat (Yale University Press).

He was trained in Natural Sciences and Art History at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He was a British Academy Wolfson Research Professor (1993-98). For more than 25 years he was based in Scotland (University of Glasgow and University of St Andrews). He has held visiting posts in Princeton, New York, North Carolina, Los Angeles and Montreal.

He has curated a series of exhibitions on Leonardo and other themes, including Spectacular Bodies at the Hayward Gallery in London, Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment, Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2006 and Seduced: Sex and Art from Antiquity to Now, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 2007. He was also guest curator for Circa 1492 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in 1992.

About the event:

The Herzberg Lecture, hosted by the Faculty of Science, is held annually in honour of Gerhard Herzberg, a former Chancellor of Carleton University and recipient of the 1971 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The lectures emphasize the relationship between science and society and seek to address an aspect of science which has a pronounced impact on our daily lives.

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