Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, known as theMona Lisa (detail), c. 1503–19, oil on panel, © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre)


What's It All About?

In advance of Art & Nature 2020, we return to the unforgettable 2016 Art & Nature keynote lecture in which the renowned British art historian Martin Kemp, acknowledged as the world authority on Leonardo da Vinci, speaks about the iconic Mona Lisa.


About the Speaker

Martin Kemp

Martin Kemp is Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art at Oxford University. He was trained in Natural Sciences and Art History at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He was British Academy Wolfson Research Professor from 1993 to 1998. For more than 25 years he was based in Scotland at the University of Glasgow and University of St. Andrews. He has held visiting posts in Princeton, New York, North Carolina, Los Angeles, and Montreal.

Professor Kemp has curated a series of exhibitions on Leonardo and other themes, including Spectacular Bodies at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2000, Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment, Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2006, and Seduced: Sex and Art from Antiquity to Now at the Barbican Art Gallery in London in 2007. He was guest curator for Circa 1492 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in 1992.

He has written and broadcast extensively on imagery in art and science from the Renaissance to the present day, most recently in Structural Intuitions, resulting from his Page Barbour Lectures at the University of Virginia (University of Virginia Press). He speaks on issues of visualization and lateral thinking to a wide range of audiences. Leonardo da Vinci has been the subject of a number of his books, including Leonardo (Oxford University Press), Living with Leonardo (Thames & Hudson), and Mona Lisa: The People and the Painting (Oxford, co-authored with Giuseppe Pallanti).

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