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Leonardo's Knots

Monday Night Philosophy gets all tied up in the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death by asking: What do all of da Vinci's paintings have in common? Caroline Cocciardi answers that question by exploring da Vinci’s passion for knots and mathematics. She traces da Vinci’s evolution from traditional knots (aesthetically appealing and ornamental) to mathematical knots (patterns that tell a story within his art). Da Vinci’s combined expertise in art and mathematics gave him the unique ability to translate these minuscule, interlaced wonderments into the glorious visual beauty found in his masterpieces: Mona LisaLa Bella PrincipessaAnnunciation, The Last SupperSalvator MundiPortrait of Isabella d’Este, and Lady with an Ermine.

Leonardo's Knots
Leonardo's Knots Cover


MLF Organizer
George Hammond

Leonardo’s Knots was developed in collaboration with knot mathematician Rob Scharein, Ph.D. 

In association with the Leonardo Da Vinci Society and Humanities West

February 11, 2019

The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco, 94105
United States


Caroline Cocciardi

Author, Leonardo's Knots