Leonardo Teacher (Maestro Leonardo)

May 26, 2023 - May 27, 2023

Château du Clos Lucé - Parc Leonardo da Vinci
1st floor of the Auberge du Prieuré
2, rue du Clos Lucé
37400 Amboise


Leonardo da Vinci’s texts often embrace the style of the recipe literature typical of the craftsmen of his time. “You will observe this, you will do that…”. This form is found in his notes in many areas covered: in the treatise on painting, in the anatomical sheets, in the pages on mathematics, mechanics, alchemy, architecture or botany. Leonard addresses himself or a real or fictitious interlocutor. In spite of this maieutic form, it is really difficult to decide whether or not Leonard was really trying to «make school». In the field of painting, where he explains, for example, how to represent “a man walking in the wind”, we know that he has formed a team of “Leonardeschi”, apprentices who have taken so much from the master that one recognizes his style at first glance.
In other fields, the case is more complex because most of the mechanics of the «bottega» have been invisibilized, even if we know some names such as «Zoroastro» or Giovanni Tedesco.
In the field of science, Leonard was constantly focused on the phenomenological world he represented, almost photographically, through detailed and explanatory drawings always accompanied by descriptions that can be considered as real technical and scientific reports, compiled in such a way as to make the content usable not only for it-even but also potentially for others.
It can be said that he used an “operational” scientific approach with “operational” representations. From this point of view, he was indeed a maestro, that is to say a «magister», in the Latin sense derived from magis, «plus», «superior». Indeed, he was certainly an acute and competent scholar and in many cases he was able to do more than others, as, to cite a few examples, in the case of the study of friction, the law still today designated Leonard’s law for fluids, and also able to leave behind an exclusive heritage of knowledge.

The very form of the notebooks suggests that Leonard, himself self-taught, had a real talent for teaching but can we affirm that he was a master? This is the question posed by this international colloquium in a multidisciplinary way

> This conference is organised in partnership with the Château du Clos Lucé


Prof. Salvatore Magazù
FROM Department of Mathematical and Informatics Sciences, Physical Sciences and Earth Sciences, University of Messina - IT
IN RESIDENCE AT Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)  / CNRS, University of Tours - FR

Prof. Pascal Brioist 
Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)  / CNRS, University of Tours - FR



Château du Clos Lucé
Parc Leonardo da Vinci
1st floor of the Auberge du Prieuré
2, rue du Clos Lucé
37400 Amboise - FR





Friday 26th of May 2023

9.00 Official opening -  Sophie Gabillet (General secretary of LE STUDIUM &  François Saint Bris  (Manager of the Château du Clos-Lucé)

9:30 Carlo Vecce (Università di Napoli, l’Orientale)- Maestro Leonardo. Introduction

10:30 Dominique Le Nen (CHU de Brest)- Leonardo and the teaching of anatomy: myth or reality

11:30 Coffee break

11:45 Salvatore Magazù & Federica Migliardo (LE STUDIUM &  Messina University) - Leonardo: Interdisciplinary Approaches in Scientific Education.

12:45 Lunch break

14:30 Alexander Neuwahl (ArtesMechanicae)  & Andrea Bernardoni (Università dell’Aquila) - Leonardo da vinci and knowledge construction in mechanics.

16:00  Romain Descendre (ENS Lyon) - “Studia prima la scienza”: the rule and the precept in the teaching of Leonardo da Vinci.

17:00 Coffee break

17:15 Rob Iliffe (Oxford University, History Faculty) - Masters and apprentices in the early modern scientific practices.

20:30 Dinner at Les Arpents restaurant

Saturday 27th of May 2023

9:30 Pascal Brioist (CESR, University of Tours) - Leonardo and the teaching of warfare

10:30 Laure Fagnart (F.R.S.-FNRS/Université de Liège) & Stefania Tullio Cataldo ( Université de Liège) - Leonardo da Vinci and engravings : methods and ways of teaching.

11:30 Coffee break

11:45 Anna Sconza (Paris Sorbonne) - The « inimitable art » : teaching the rules of painting.

12:45 Conclusive round table

Partners of the event