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Join Stephen Campbell, the Henry and Elizabeth Wiesenfeld Professor in History of Art at Johns Hopkins University, for his keynote lecture of the 2021 Ferrari Humanities Symposia “The Shape of Pre-modern Lives: Towards an Anti-biography of Leonardo da Vinci”.
The startling $450 million sales in November 2017 of a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci has been a matter of concern for many invested in the study and interpretation-- as well as the value-- of pre-modern art. These include art historians, curators, conservators, and dealers, as well as their publics. More importantly, the entire episode points to the degree to which “da Vinci” has become contested cultural capital, an increasingly fictive historical legitimation of our obsessions with art, genius, and technological innovation as a means of obtaining celebrity and wealth. The lecture will confront the “Da Vinci worlds” of the 21st-century myth with the unknowable figure of the pre-modern artist whose life and work challenge the myth.
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