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The most prolific artist of his time, Leonardo left behind over 6,000 drawings that reveal his scientific and creative mental world. Though Leonardo was revered as a painter during his lifetime, these thousands of sheets remained largely unknown before the 19th century (only his unfinished Treatise on Painting was published).  Focusing on Leonardo drawings from the Codex Atlanticus, now on display at the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci. Art & Science. Then & Now at CityU, the talk reveals how Leonardo studied, explored and understood the world around him through his art. The Codex Atlanticus, in the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, is the most theoretical of the surviving treatises and captures Leonardo’s incessant efforts to pierce the sensuous surface of the physical world and reveal its underlying scientific principles.

Isabelle Frank is Director of the Exhibition Gallery at City University of Hong Kong. Since joining City University, she has curated and co-curated exhibitions that connect technology and the arts across Western and Asian cultures. An art historian by training, she received her doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at Bard College. Frank has been Associate Dean for academic affairs at the New School, New York, and was Dean of Fordham School of Professional and Continuing Studies in New York. She has authored The Theory of Decorative Arts (Yale University Press, 2000) and Die Rhetorik des Ornaments (Fink Verlag, 2001), and articles on Italian Renaissance art and decorative art.

This lecture is cohosted with the Friends of Hong Kong Museum of Art and with the generous support of Christie’s.

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