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24 April 2019Leonardo da Vinci: the Science behind the Art
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Leonardo da Vinci: the Science behind the Art Guy Rooker Wednesday 24 April 2019



Leonardo da Vinci, painter and draughtsman of the High Renaissance was an artist whose works were informed by scientific investigation.

Leonardo observed the world closely, describing nature as his teacher, studying anatomy and physiology in order to create convincing images of the human form. He believed the moral and ethical meanings of his narrative art would emerge through the accurate representation of human gesture and expression.

Science and art are different paths that lead to the same destination.

This talk reviews Leonardo’s approach to linear perspective, human proportion, emotion, light and shade together with the fashion in which his scientific studies influenced his art.


I come to The Arts Society not with a background in the arts but from the world of science in general, and surgery in particular. I describe myself as a retired surgeon with a lifelong passion, fascination, and admiration for the work of Leonardo da Vinci. I consider that the contribution he has made to both the world of art and the investigation of scientific concepts to be quite unique and extraordinary in the way that so many of his pioneering investigations have contributed to the understanding of our world today

Picture: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci - Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice