da Vinci and the Renaissance 2020 Dashboard


Leonardo drawingsDa Vinci and the Renaissance is a fully cross-disciplinary study-abroad program that explores the transition from the medieval period to the Renaissance across multiple subjects (art, architecture, engineering, science and more), laying out how much of what we take for granted today about technology or about the human subject were implemented in this rich period, especially in Italy.  Our focus will be that most famous “Renaissance man,” Leonardo da Vinci.  The course’s interdisciplinary approach asks students to think about the constructed nature of the things we take for granted as “natural” (e.g., time, space, human subjectivity, meaning, sight, knowledge, and law), thus opening our eyes to the significance of cultural differences. We will also consider the many ways that we are now seeing a cultural, ontological, and epistemological shift that is as far-reaching as the one between the medieval period and the Renaissance

The 3 credits will be split between 8 weeks of instruction at Purdue (1 credit) and our study-abroad program to Venice and Florence (2 credits). In Italy, we will see a number of things that we will have discussed before getting on a plane together. We will also think about the nature of confronting a different culture and of being a tourist in a foreign land.

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Individual Entries

Posted by Adam Sands on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 00:32

The Milan Cathedral was the inspiration for Leonardo da Vinci's interest in architecture. In 1987, he was involved in a project that called for the design of a tiburio, or lantern tower. Throughout the process, da Vinci would draw his design using a grid of squares to give it that symmetrical and balanced appearance that was common in Renaissance architecture at the time. His arcitectural style would be influenced by Vitruvius after he befriended both Bramante and di Giorgio around that time. Since then, da Vinci would continue with his endeavors by drawing countless designs in his notebook that consisted of other drawings.

Source: Isaacson, Walter. Leonardo Da Vinci. Simon & Schuster, 2017.

Chronology Entry
Posted by Madeline Quinn on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 00:20
Chronology Entry
Posted by Adam Sands on Monday, February 3, 2020 - 23:27
Posted by Marina Mehling on Monday, February 3, 2020 - 21:39
Posted by Kanti Bharat on Monday, February 3, 2020 - 20:47

The Vitruvian Man drawing from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks is housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy. It is only occasionally revealed to the public, as “prolonged exposure to light would cause it to fade,” (Isaacson 153). Most recently, it was on display at the Louvre in Paris, France. 

The Gallery houses many Venetian paintings from up to its founding in the mid-1700s. Among the works are those by Giovanni Bellini, Gigiorgone, Tintoretto, Titian, and Paolo Veronese. Most of the artwork represents Renaissance artistic ideals such as depth, perspective, focus of the human form, and realism. 

Paintings housed there that we have observed in class include Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and Saint Mary Magdalene by Giovanni Bellini and The Tempest...

Posted by Kanti Bharat on Monday, February 3, 2020 - 20:44

In 1487, Leonardo da Vinci was determined to prove himself as an architect by designing a lantern tower, otherwise known as a tiburio, for the Milan Cathedral. As he perfected his designs, he fostered friendships with two other architects, Donato Bramante and Francesco di Giorgio. 

During this period of designing Milan Cathedral’s tiburio, da Vinci and di Giorgio travelled to Pavia to consult with the architects designing and constructing a new cathedral there. It was during this trip that they discovered an Italian translated “copy of an architectural treatise by Vitruvius, a Roman military officer and engineer from the first century BC,” (Isaacson 148) in the Visconti Library in the Castle of Pavia. di Giorgio was able to use this treatise as inspiration for his own architectural treatise that he had been revising.

The architects’ collaboration...

Posted by Kanti Bharat on Monday, February 3, 2020 - 20:39
Posted by Kanti Bharat on Monday, February 3, 2020 - 20:32
Chronology Entry
Posted by Kanti Bharat on Monday, February 3, 2020 - 20:26
Posted by Chyna Ferguson on Monday, February 3, 2020 - 20:09