EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR | “Let Me Tell You About the Birds and the Bees: Leonardo da Vinci and the Natural World”
Presented by Dr. Jeremy Wasser
with Additional Commentary by Dr. Rocky Ruggiero
Let me tell ya ’bout the birds and the bees
And the flowers and the trees
And the moon up above
And a thing called love
Jewel Akens, 1964
In The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, Giorgio Vasari says this about Leonardo da Vinci:
…he took special pleasure in horses as he did in all other animals, which he treated with the greatest love and patience. For example, when passing by places where birds were being sold, he would often take them out of their cages with his own hands, and after paying the seller the price that was asked of him, he would set them free in the air, restoring to them the liberty they had lost.
Leonardo’s drawings of birds and his exploration into the mystery of bird flight are well documented in what is now known as the Codex on the Flight of Birds. In it, da Vinci speculates on the nature of bird flight and suggests devices and methods to test his concepts on how birds achieve their mastery of the air. He also writes of birds and bird flight in the Codex Atlanticus.
Leonardo da Vinci illustrated many other domestic and wild animals: horses—as noted by Vasari—but also dogs, cats, bears and a multitude of insects. His simple sketch of a dragonfly in flight accurately depicted the alternation of the flapping of the fore and hind wings. Thanks to the use of high-speed cameras, we now know that this wing beat pattern is accurate. However, it is not visible to the ordinary human eye.
Come along on a nature walk, with Leonardo da Vinci and physiologist and medical historian, Dr. Jeremy Wasser. We will explore da Vinci’s relationship and understanding of the natural world and how it influenced his representations of mammals, birds, insects, and other creatures. See what Leonardo saw when he observed animals as only he could. Share in the magic and the mystery of da Vinci’s natural world.
The webinar will include a 45-minute lecture followed by 15-minutes of Q&A.
- Your participation is confirmed once you have purchased your ticket. You will receive the Zoom link to join the presentation circa 30 minutes before the start time.
- VIDEO RECORDING of the webinar will be available for unlimited streaming at your convenience for 7 days after the event.