Herzberg Lecture 2019

The Herzberg Lectures are held annually in honour of Gerhard Herzberg, a former Chancellor of Carleton University and recipient of the 1971 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The lectures emphasize the relationship between science and society and seek to address an aspect of science which has a pronounced impact on our daily lives.

The Herzberg Lecture is free and open to the public.

Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi: The Story and the Research

by Prof. Martin Kemp, University of Oxford

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 at 7 p.m. in Richcraft Hall, Carleton University
Free parking is available in lot P9 for this event (next to Robertson Hall)
In Richcraft Hall, optional pay-and-display parking is available in lot P16

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Abstract

Things are rarely straightforward with Leonardo. Myths proliferate. His rediscovered Salvator, revealed to the public for the first time in 2011, has already been engulfed by stories that have little to do with the picture itself. The lecture will provide an accurate account of its discovery, provenance, exhibition, reception and sale (for $450 million!), and will look at all aspects of the image in the contexts of Leonardo’s career, showing how it embodies his unique fusion of science, imagination, psychology and theology. It is this fusion that precludes its attribution to anyone other than Leonardo himself.

About the Speaker

Martin Kemp, Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art at the University of Oxford 

Martin Kemp has written and broadcast extensively on imagery in art and science from the Renaissance to the present day. He speaks on issues of visualisation and lateral thinking to a wide range of audiences. Leonardo da Vinci has been the subject of books written by him, including Leonardo (Oxford University Press 2004). He has published on imagery in the sciences of anatomy, natural history and optics, including The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat (Yale University Press). He was trained in Natural Sciences and Art History at the University of Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He was a British Academy Wolfson Research Professor (1993-98). For more than 25 years he was based in Scotland (University of Glasgow and University of St. Andrews). He has held visiting posts in Princeton, New York, North Carolina, Los Angeles and Montreal.

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

Previous lectures, 2000-present

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  • Wetlands: The Kidneys of Our Planet (2016)
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    Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management and Professor of Marine and Ecological Science Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management Professor of Marine and Ecological Science, Florida Gulf Coast University
  • The Brain on Stress: Novel Epigenetic Mechanisms of Brain Plasticity (2015)
    Dr. Bruce McEwen
    Alfred E Mirsky Professor and Head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory on Neuroendocrinology at the Rockefeller University
  • More Food, Smaller Footprint: Earth System Science and Biological Agriculture (2014)
    Dr. Gerald M. Ross
    Organic Farmer and Consultant in Farm Design, Maui, Hawaii
  • Must We Irradiate Food?
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  • Shaken and Stirred: The Cost of Earthquakes and How Science Can Help (2011)
    Dr. John Cassidy
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  • The Dynamic Brain: Adaptation, Changing Environments and Life Circumstances (2010)
    Dr. Anthony Phillips
    Scientific Director, CIHR’s Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addition
  • Doing More Good than Harm: Building an Evidence Base for Environmental Policy and Practice (2009)
    Dr. Andrew Pullin
    Centre for Evidence-based Conservation
    University of Wales, Bangor, Wales
  • The Large Hadron Collider: Shedding Light On a Dark Universe (2008)
    Dr. Rolf-Dieter Heuer
    Director in Charge of High Energy Physics and Astroparticale Physics, Deutsche Elektronen-Synchrotron
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  • Origami, Linkages, and Polyhedral: Folding with Algorithms (2006)
    Dr. Erik D. Demaine
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  • The Art of Research (2005)
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    Professor and Queen Research Chair in Mathematics
  • Dinosaurs: The Cultural Icons of Science (2004)
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  • How Does the Sun Shine? (2001)
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  • Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (2000)
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