Uccello, Leonardo, Carpaccio | Séminaire de Wolfram Pichler chez Giovanni Careri mardi 5 mars

“The ring and the hinge: Some topological complications in the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Lygia Clark and others”


The three seminars proposed here are dealing, mostly from an art historical point of view, with the story of certain things characterized by:

  1. holes,
  2. hinges, and
  3. twists.

Taken together, the three seminars form a kind of triptych, the central part of which is a piece on diptychs. All three of them are, in some sense or another, related to topology.


Premier séminaire, Mardi 5 mars 9h-11h Salle Fabri de Pereisc INHA 2 Rue Vivienne

The first seminar will be concerned with the history of the torus in Italian renaissance art. In the work of artists such as Paolo Uccello, Leonardo da Vinci or Vittore Carpaccio, torus-like forms were variously and sometimes ambiguously interpreted as abstract geometric bodies or rings, but also as fashionable head-gears etc. In the seminar, I will focus an example found in Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus and described by the artist himself as a «corpo nato della prospettiva di Leonardo Vinci» [CA 520r (giä 191 r.a)]. I shall interpret Leonardo’ s inscription, reconstruct the genesis of the complex forms drawn by him and try to clarify the difficult epistemological status of his so-called “corpo”, the defining characteristic of which – a hole – escaped geometric knowledge of the time.

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