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Leonardo in Britain

Collections and Historical Reception

This volume discusses the reception of Leonardo’s artistic, theoretical and scientific work from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. It also examines the roles of collectors, intellectuals and artists in Britain in the transmission and transformation of his legacy. At stake is what role, or rather roles, Leonardo played in British art, aesthetics and scientific thought. Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy in Britain has remained largely overshadowed by that of other Italian artists. What was actually known of his work? Were particular aspects of his art and writings favored? This volume investigates how Leonardo’s artistic, theoretical and scientific work has been received in Britain from the seventeenth century onwards. It offers new information concerning the provenance of certain key works and considers their significance for the formation of important British private and public collections. It also addresses the crucial issue of what was considered to be an original work by Leonardo, encompassing related discussions on the roles of versions and copies. In addition, it investigates the shaping of early academic discourse and the appearance of the first English editions of the ‘Treatise on Painting’, as well as considering the publication of English anthologies of his writings and methodological approaches to Leonardo studies. At the same that this volume focuses on the historical reception of Leonardo and his followers’ works in Britain, it makes a wider contribution to studies concerning cultural and intellectual exchanges between Italy and Britain.

502 pages | 6 3/4 x 9 1/4

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