In the midst of last week's nuclear-paloozza on campus and on this blog, I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Ann C. Pizzorusso, a geologist who is also an Italian Renaissance scholar. She gave a talk with the same title as her book, Tweeting da Vinci.
The talk was fascinating in that it linked the field of geology with that of Renaissance art. She demonstrated how the Italian artists knew a great deal about the natural history of Italy and how the natural landscape influenced the "look" of art of the Renaissance.
I was particularly struck by her description of caves and karst landscapes and how caves and sinkholes were important aspects of art of the era. The noted grottoes of Italy, and their reproduction in villas and public spaces, continue to be used and admired.
Pizzorusso also has influenced the art world by calling out a noted da Vinci forgery based on the geologic rendering. The master painted was a student of the natural world. If you look closely at his work, you will see many details in rocks and plants. Forgeries often miss these details.
The book, Tweeting da Vinci, is a must read for anyone interested in geology and art. The book is lovely and a perfect holiday gift. It is available for purchase in the Amazon store on the right or at your favorite local bookstore.