Leonardo against Humanity
Special edition Technical Art History Colloquium
This special edition of the monthly Technical Art History Colloquium will be held at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, in connection with the exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci. Prof. Michael Kwakkelstein will present his lecture ' Leonardo against Humanity'.
From 5 October 2018 to 6 January 2019, the Teylers Museum in Haarlem will hold a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition featuring 33 original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). It is the first ever retrospective of original artworks by Leonardo in the Netherlands. His drawn portraits along with as many works by his contemporaries are coming to Haarlem from world-famous collections.
It is often claimed that as a person Leonardo da Vinci remains elusive. This claim is based on the assumption that in his numerous writings Leonardo left us with very few clues about his personal life, because he never reveals or speaks directly of his feelings. Yet there are numerous instances where he expresses not only his hostility towards certain groups of individuals, but also feelings of resentment and disdain for humanity. Kwakkelstein’s talk examines these critical and often pessimistic comments, mostly ignored by scholars, in order to gain a fuller understanding of Leonardo feelings, his relation to others and the intention behind his habit of drawing old men and women with misshapen faces.
Prof. Michael Kwakkelstein is guest-curator of the exhibition. He is Professor of Art History at Utrecht University, specialized in the visual arts of the Renaissance in Italy and the Low Countries. Kwakkelstein is also the director of the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence.
The Technical Art History Colloquium is organised by Sven Dupré (Utrecht University and University of Amsterdam, PI ERC ARTECHNE), Arjan de Koomen (University of Amsterdam, Coordinator MA Technical Art History), Abbie Vandivere (University of Amsterdam, Coordinator MA Technical Art History & Paintings Conservator, Mauritshuis, The Hague), Erma Hermens (University of Amsterdam and Rijksmuseum) and Ann-Sophie Lehmann (University of Groningen).