Paragone. Leonardo in Context (Leipzig, 18-21 Jul 19)

Lecture Hall Universitätsbibliothek Albertina, Beethovenstraße 6, 04107 Leipzig, July 18 - 21, 2019

“Paragone. Leonardo in Context” – International conference on Leonardo da Vinci
Organisation: Prof. Dr. Frank Zöllner

So many are the areas of interest and activity associated with Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) that it is difficult to obtain a clear view of them all from a single, unifying perspective. Leonardo differs in this respect from other seminal artists of the Italian Renaissance, such as Raphael, Michelangelo and Titian. Leonardo’s success, influence and fame are based not solely on his innovative artistic oeuvre, but also on an unusually wide-ranging and heterogeneous corpus of drawings, notes, reflections, treatises and studies pertaining to almost every discipline of the day. In conjunction with other contemporary documents, this very extensive artistic and written legacy allows a precise reconstruction of Leonardo’s thinking and work, as well as his intellectual development. The large number of possible areas of focus (proportion theory, anatomy, optics, hydrology, botany, architecture, engineering, mechanics, philosophy, etc.) leads, however, to a fragmentation of research. The aim of this conference is to bring together individual strands of Leonardo scholarship in terms of a contextualizing comparison, namely in the example of individual project areas – here in particular painting, architecture, engineering, military technology, hydrology and mechanics. In this spirit, the conference takes its title from “Paragone”, the term with which Leonardo’s exploration of neighbouring arts and sciences can be described.


18 July 2019

17.00: Welcome and Introduction

Michael W. Kwakkelstein (Istituto Universitario Olandese di Storia dell'Arte, Florence/ Utrecht University), “Leonardo's pain, anger and contempt for humanity”

19.00: Dinner

19 July 2019

Technology I, Chair: Rudolf Hiller von Gaertringen (Universität Leipzig)

10.00: Pascal Brioist (Centre for Higher Renaissance Studies, Tours University), “Workshop Practice as an Inspiration for Scientific Experiments“

11.00: Matthew Landrus (University of Oxford), “Leonardo and the Engineers“

11.45: Coffee

12.00: Monica Azzolini (Università di Bologna), “Renaissance Waters: Hydrology and Meteorology in Leonardo’s Work”

12.45-14.00: Lunch

Technology II, Chair: Nadja Horsch (Universität Leipzig)

14.00: Jeannet Hommers (Universität Köln), “instrumenti di mirabile efficacia? Leonardo and Dürer as Military Engineers”

14.45: Coffee

15.00: Sara Taglialagamba (Lamporecchio, Fondazione Rossana e Carlo Pedretti), “Leonardo and the Others. Clocks, Automation and Robotics from Vinci to Spain“

15.45: Sabine Frommel (École Pratique des Hautes Études – Sorbonne Paris), “Leonardos Beitrag zur Architektur der Renaissance“

19.00: Dinner

20 July 2019

Art, Chair: Alessandro Nova (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz)

9.30: Vincent Delieuvin (Musée du Louvre, Paris), “Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop. Copies and Variations tell the Story“

10.15: Domenico Laurenza (Museo Galileo Florence and Schroeder Art, New York), “Leonardo and Michelangelo as Anatomists: A Comparative Portrait“

11.00: Claire Farago (Boulder/ Los Angeles), “Exchanges between Theory and Practice: St Anne and the Trattato“

12.15-13.30: Lunch

Theory, Chair: Johannes Gebhardt (Universität Leipzig)

13.30: Johannes Nathan (Potsdam), “Omo sanza lettere? Leonardo and Bernardo Bembo“

14.15: Frank Fehrenbach (Universität Hamburg), “Forza divina. Alberti, Leonardo und die Kraft der Malerei“

15.30: Coffee

16.00: Marco Versiero (Milan), “Leonardo in Marx's Aesthetic Theory and Historical Materialism“

19.00: Dinner

21 July 2019

10.00: Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig in cooperation with Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Leipzig University, visit of the exhibition: “Leonardo war nie in Leipzig“. Optional: “Leipziger Schule“ (Leipzig School of Painting) or sightseeing to the places of the “Peaceful Revolution“ of 1989.

Prof. Dr. Frank Zöllner
Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Universität Leipzig
Dittrichring 18-20, 04109 Leipzig

Dr. des. Johannes Gebhardt
Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Universität Leipzig
Dittrichring 18-20, 04109 Leipzig

Die Konferenz wird gefördert von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), dem TASCHEN Verlag sowie den Freunden und Förderern der Universität Leipzig.

CONF: Paragone. Leonardo in Context (Leipzig, 18-21 Jul 19). In:, May 14, 2019 (accessed May 24, 2019), <>.

Contributor: Johannes Gebhardt

Contribution published: May 14, 2019

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