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Leonardo da Vinci: Singular and Plural

A Bear Walking: Study of a Bear Walking with a Sketch of a Forepaw and a Nude Woman

Luke Syson, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Curator in Charge, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, MMA

Leonardo worked on a surprisingly small number of works—the Mona Lisa among them—refining and altering them over years. This method created a production bottleneck that could only be dealt with through delegating, leaving us with the problem of how we distinguish a fully autograph product from a painting made in the workshop. This lecture by Luke Syson (organizer of the triumphant exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, at London's National Gallery) explores artistic production, collaboration, and delegation, and will track Leonardo's personal journey from a solitary artist to a collaborator working with pupils, assistants, and peers, and back.

This series is made possible by the Giorgio S. Sacerdote Fund.

Today's Topic
Leonardo da Vinci: Singular and Plural

Image above: Leonardo da Vinci (Italian 1452–1519) A Bear Walking, ca. 1490, metalpoint on light buff prepared paper, 4 1/16 x 5 1/4 in. (10.3 x 13.3 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.369)

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The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium and the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education are equipped with infrared sound enhancement systems (with headsets and neck loops). To obtain a headset or neck loop please ask an usher. Headsets and neck loops are available free of charge with identification. Real-time captioning is also available upon request.