Although Leonardo is commonly associated with Florence, the so-called cradle of the Renaissance, he spent 18 of the most productive years of his life in Milan and produced some of his most iconic work in this city under the patronage of Il Moro, the Duke of Milan – Ludovico Sforza. Under the patronage of Sforza he had the freedom to indulge his interest in nature, art and science. This lecture will start by tracing Leonardo’s early years as an apprentice in the workshop of the Florentine Renaissance Master, Andrea del Verrocchio; leading up to those 18 years of sublime production in the city of Milan. We will look at Leonardo’s experiments, his growing fascination with human dissection and his relationship with Ludovico Sforza, the fruits of which would result in iconic images, such as ‘the Lady with the Ermine’ and the mysterious ‘Portrait of a Woman’.
This lecture takes us on a journey, as we travel with the itinerant genius, from humble beginnings in the small town of Vinci to eventual fame as the Master of Design – Maestro del Disegno at the Court of Milan.
Leslie Primo holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. Was Visiting Lecturer in Art History at the University of Reading in 2005 and 2007, gave lectures and guided tours, plus special talks, at both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery for 18 years. Currently he lectures at the City Literary Institute, Imperial College, London, and has presented a series of talks at the National Maritime Museum and the Courtauld Institute.