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Leonardo da Vinci, Traite de la Peinture (Paris, 1716), 2d ed.

Treatise on Painting

Despite a lack of publications, Leonardo’s fame grew as word of his notebooks spread. The first work by Leonardo to be printed was his Treatise on Painting, published a century after his death. That 1651 Italian edition is on display at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Spring 2016.

The Treatise on Painting conveys Leonardo’s views on mathematical proportion and the human body, the physiology of vision, and plant physiology. Given Leonardo’s understanding of art as an intellectual endeavor carried out in imitation of nature, it is impossible to separate his art theory from his understanding of science.

Galileo's World Exhibition Location

Source: History of Science Collections

Section: Renaissance of Discovery

Section Number: 1

Object Number: 10

Subject Area(s): Art, Mathematics, Health Sciences

Time Period: 16th Century

Region(s): Europe, Italy, France

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Exhibit Gallery OERs

Wondertooneel: Women and Museums

Wondertooneel Learning Leaflet

What were women doing in the museum? 

Levinus Vincent, a wealthy Dutch merchant with ties to the East Indies, created a spectacular 'Chamber of Wonders' natural history museum in Haarlem. Visiting dignitaries admired his museum, including Peter the Great and King Charles III of Spain. The detailed depictions of interior spaces include figures of women engaged in a variety of activities. Museums such as Vincent's offered women opportunities for participation in the natural sciences as donors, collectors, discoverers, visitors, patrons, lecturers and curators. This OER explores the significance of women in these early museums.


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Maria Merian: World-Traveling Entomologist

Maria Merian Learning Leaflet

How do art and travel benefit natural history? 

Maria Merian (1647-1717), skilled in both art and natural history, studied the relationships between flowers and insects. She conducted field expeditions around the world, carried out research in gardens and museums, and produced detailed sketches and beautiful paintings, and even bred insects to aid in her entomological investigations. 


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