Faculty: Matthew Landrus


Matthew Landrus examines intersections of the practical arts and natural philosophy during the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries. As a specialist on the working methods and intellectual interests of artist/engineers, he addresses cross-disciplinary solutions to investigative and inventive developments in the histories of ideas, science and technology. Much of this work addresses the histories of artisan notebooks and the art academy. He has published widely on the work and contexts of Leonardo da Vinci, though he also studies Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, historiography, paradoxes in visual culture, and the histories of aesthetics, figural proportions and colonial culture.

Academic Research/Areas of Interest

Science and technology in visual art

Artist notebooks and publications

Preparatory marks on medieval and Renaissance drawings and paintings

Medieval through Early modern philosophy of natural history

Aesthetic paradoxes and the problem of art history

Mathematics and geometry in visual culture

Proportion theories and practices in 15th and 16th century Europe

Notes, drawings and paintings of Leonardo da Vinci and his contemporaries

Civil and military engineering of medieval through early modern Europe

The history of representations of human and animal proportions

Painting in Europe around 1600

Music, festivals and the mechanical arts in Renaissance Europe

Turn of the twentieth-century reception of Renaissance art and technology

Early modern Colonial visual culture

Matthew Landrus

Matthew Landrus


  • PHD, University of Oxford
  • BA, University of Louisville
  • MA, University of Louisville


  • HAVC-H463
English Foreground Image 1
The main reading room at the Fleet Library at RISD is a former banking hall on the National Register
of Historic Places.