Category Archives: Leonardo da Vinci, art academies, artisanal epistemologies, Early Modern art theory, the concept of art, intellectual history, Italian studies, cultural exchange within Europe and in the Mediterranean

Ricardo De Mambro Santos on reconstructing the history of Leonardo’s Trattato della pittura

The fabric of evidence: reconstructing the history of Leonardo’s Trattato della pittura and rethinking the narratives of its reception since the sixteenth century

Review of:

The Fabrication of Leonardo da Vinci’s Trattato della pittura with a scholarly edition of the editio princeps (1651) and an annotated English translation, edited by Claire Farago, Janis Bell and Carlo Vecce, with a foreword by Martin Kemp, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018, ISBN 9789004353787 e-book, ISBN 9789004353756 hardback, 2 vols, 1303 pages, b/w and colour ill.

Ricardo De Mambro Santos 21/RDMS1

Abstract: This publication provides a scholarly-conducted English translation of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Trattato della pittura”, and examines, in a cohesive collection of essays written by specialists in the field, the complex process of elaboration, transformation and circulation of textual as well as visual materials that led to the creation of this refined volume, printed in Paris in 1651. By means of rigorous micro-historical analyses, the various essays offer a detailed, all-encompassing reconstruction of the different channels through which Leonardo’s autograph notes were reinterpreted and disseminated, from the compilation of the manuscript known as “Libro di pittura”, assembled by Francesco Melzi in the second half of the sixteenth century, to the circulation of these materials in contexts such as sixteenth-century Florence or seventeenth-century Casteldurante, exploring, in particular, the crucial parts played by Cassiano dal Pozzo and Nicolas Poussin in Rome and by Raphael Trichet du Fresne, Roland Chambray and Charles Errard in Paris.

Key words: Leonardo da Vinci, Trattato della pittura, Renaissance art theory, Cassiano dal Pozzo, Nicolas Poussin drawings, textual studies

 

Book received: The Fabrication of Leonardo da Vinci’s Trattato della pittura

The Fabrication of Leonardo da Vinci’s Trattato della pittura

With a Scholarly Edition of the Italian editio princeps (1651) and an Annotated English Translation

Series:

Authors: Claire FaragoJanis Bell and Carlo Vecce

The basis for our understanding of Leonardo’s theory of art was, for over 150 years, his Treatise on Painting, which was issued in 1651 in Italian and French. This present volume offers both the first scholarly edition of the Italian editio princeps as well as the first complete English translation of this seminal work. In addition, It provides a comprehensive study of the Italian first edition, documenting how each editorial campaign that lead to it produced a different understanding of the artist’s theory. What emerges is a rich cultural and textual history that foregrounds the transmission of artisanal knowledge from Leonardo’s workshop in the Duchy of Milan to Carlo Borromeo’s Milan, Cosimo I de’ Medici’s Florence, Urban VIII’s Rome, and Louis XIV’s Paris.

Publication Date:  29 January 2018

ISBN: 978-90-04-35378-7

Readership All interested in Leonardo da Vinci, art academies, artisanal epistemologies, Early Modern art theory, the concept of art, intellectual history, Italian studies, cultural exchange within Europe and in the Mediterranean.

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