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 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

Wintersession 2022

THAD-W234-01 South Asian Art and Architecture
THAD-W463-01 Science Of Art
RISD faculty member Matthew Landrus