Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor of the History of Art

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Martin KempMartin Kemp is Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at Oxford University.

He has written and broadcast extensively on imagery in art and science from the Renaissance to the present day. He speaks on issues of visualisation and lateral thinking to a wide range of audiences.

Leonardo da Vinci has been the subject of  books and exhibitions, including Leonardo (Oxford University Press 2004). He has published on imagery in the sciences of anatomy, natural history and optics, including The Science of Art. Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat (Yale University Press). Increasingly, he has focused on issues of visualization, modelling and representation. He writes a regular column on “Science in Culture” in Nature (an early selection published as Visualisations, OUP, 2000). The Nature essays are developed in Seen and Unseen (OUP 2006), in which his concept of “structural intuitions” is explored. Forthcoming books include The Human Animal (Chicago).

He was trained in Natural Sciences and Art History at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute, London. He was British Academy Wolfson Research Professor (1993-98). For more than 25 years he was based in Scotland (Universities of Glasgow and St. Andrews. He has held visiting posts in Princeton, New York, North Carolina and Los Angeles.

He has curated a series of exhibitions on Leonardo and other themes, including Spectacular Bodies at the Hayward Gallery in London and Leonardo da Vinci. Experience, Experiment, Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2006 and Seduced. Sex and Art from Antiquity to Now, Barbican Art Gallery London, 2007. He was also guest curator for Ca 1492 at the National Gallery in Washington in 1992.