I examine 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, I address 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. Although a specialist on Leonardo da Vinci, I also study Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, historiography, paradoxes in visual culture, and the histories of aesthetics, figural proportions, colonial culture, and the approaches of Francesco Vanni, Guido Reni, and Caravaggio.

Research Interests

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


Dr Matthew Landrus

Research Fellow in the History of Art
History Faculty
University of Oxford

Wolfson College
Oxford OX2 6UD

And at the
Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture
Rhode Island School of Design
2 College St
Providence RI 02903

UK tel (011) (44) (0)7530 942043
US tel (001) (401) 374 4159