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History and Science in Leonardo’s Legacy

From about 10 years, through a vast campaign of diagnostic investigations and through an extensive collection of technical bibliography on artworks related in various ways to the Leonardo da Vinci, the Conservation Science Laboratory, by comparing the historical and artistic evidence with the scientific data, examines both masterpieces belonging to the narrow entourage of the artist, and artworks of very high quality relating to the followers of various nationalities and the second generation of heirs of the Master. The research group investigates the complex issues related to the study of paintings and drawings - and possibly also sculptures - of pupils and followers of Leonardo to ascertain, on a strictly scientific basis, the origin, the state of conservation, the interventions occurred in times and occasions that are not always documented to indicate their proximity to the Master's teachings. In particular, the reception of the prototypes and of the painting technique of the da Vinci genius by his entourage and followers is analyzed. The project is made possible thanks to the availability and collaboration of museums, private collectors, art dealers and auction houses. The ambition to offer scientifically new contributions is accompanied by the challenge of opening new perspectives of study on the internal dynamics of Leonardo's workshop, focusing on the activities of his own "seguaci": it is a field that is still almost unexplored and full of possibilities.

Research group: Matteucci Chiara (lab technician), Apicella Salvatore Andrea ( Unibo), Cataldo Martina (scholar), Fiorillo Flavia (PhD student), Tarantola Gaia (Unibo), Cotte Pascal (Lumiére Technology, Paris), Kryshtall Ivàn (Museum of Christian culture, St. Petersburg), Bertelli Carlo (University of Lausanne and of the Italian Switzerland), Ghelfi Barbara (associate professor), Maklakova Elena (University of Moscow), Den Leeuw Milko (Authentication in Art), Spapens Oliver (Authentication in Art), Hajdas Irka (Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zurich), Hendriks Laura (Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zurich), Thistelwood Jevon (Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology), Rizzà Laura (junior fellow, Scuola di Lettere e Beni Culturali, Unibo).