Kemp argues that in both fields, work begins at the intuitive level, curiosity aroused by our recognition of patterns or order. Kemp's "structural intuitions," then, are the ways we engage fundamental perceptual and cognitive mechanisms to bring order to our observed world. Through stimulating juxtaposition, Kemp considers connections between naturally occurring patterns, cognitive processes, and artistic and scientific expression, drawing on an array of examples from the Renaissance through the present.
Taking a broadly historical approach, Kemp examines forms and processes such as the geometry of Platonic solids, the dynamics of growth, and the patterns of fluids in motion, while placing the work of contemporary artists, engineers, and scientists in dialogue with that of visionaries such as Leonardo da Vinci and D'Arcy Thompson.
Richly illustrated, lucidly written, and wonderfully thought-provoking, Structural Intuitions is essential reading for anyone seeking insight into common ground in the arts and sciences.
A personal memoir interwoven with original research, Living with Leonardo takes us deep inside Leonardo da Vinci scholar Martin Kemp’s lifelong passion for the genius who has helped define our culture.
Each chapter considers a specific work as Kemp offers insight into his encounters with academics, collectors, curators, devious dealers, auctioneers, and authors— as well as how he has grappled with legions of “Leonardo loonies,” treaded vested interests in academia and museums, and fended off fusillades of non- Leonardos. Kemp explains his thinking on the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, retells his part in the identification of the stolen Buccleuch Madonna, and explains his involvement on the two major Leonardo discoveries of the last 100 years: La Bella Principessa and Salvator Mundi. His engaging narrative elucidates the issues surrounding attribution,the scientific analyses that support experts’ interpretations, and the continuing importance of connoisseurship.
Illustrated with the works being discussed, Living with Leonardo explores the artist’s genius from every angle, including technical analysis and the pop culture works he inspired, such as The Da Vinci Code, and his enduring influence 500 years after his death.