Image - speakers plus Leonardo Da Vinci

San Francisco

Humanities West Presents Leonardo the Scientist-Artist

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Five centuries after his death, Leonardo Da Vinci is attracting more attention for his art, his science and his mechanical inventiveness than ever. Humanities West celebrates his continuing cultural contributions with an encore presentation of "Leonardo’s Legacy," our February 2019 program, again featuring Martin Kemp, London’s leading Leonardo scholar, who will treat us this time to his latest research on Leonardo’s study of the science of optics and how that study influenced his artistic creations.

In addition, to demonstrate just how relevant Leonardo remains, Mario Taddei will join us from Milan to describe Leonardo’s influence on computer science, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Professor Taddei is the curator of an elaborate virtual reality exhibit of Leonardo’s art and scientific drawings from his codices, which features virtual art restorations and 3D versions of Leonardo’s inventions and mechanical designs.


This program has 2 types of tickets available: In-person and online-only. For online viewing, pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Safety Protocols for in-person attendance:

  • We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.
  • We strongly recommend vaccination for guests, staff, and volunteers.
  • Masks are strongly encouraged while indoors (if you do not have one and would like one, inquire at our front desk for a complimentary mask).
  • We reserve the right to require different rules for specific events as necessary.

Our LEED Gold-certified building is designed to cool with outside air, using digitally controlled moveable windows and large ceiling fans. We are deploying additional HEPA filters inside to scrub the air. This is all in addition to increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the building.

We welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our online programming.

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

In association with Humanities West, the Leonardo da Vinci Society and the Italian Cultural Institute.

Photos courtesy the speakers.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Fri, Dec 2 / 5:00 pm PST

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Martin Kemp

Martin Kemp

Emeritus Professor of the History of Art, Oxford University; Honorary Chair of the DaVinci Network; Author, Living with Leonardo: Fifty Years of Sanity and Insanity in the Art World and Beyond, and Leonardo Da Vinci: The 100 Milestones

Image - Mario Taddei

Mario Taddei

Professor of Computer Science, Politecnico of Milan, ACME; Author, Leonardo Da Vinci & Virtual Reality—From Mona Lisa to the Metaverse, and Leonardo's Machines: Secrets and Inventions in the Da Vinci Codices; Museum Curator and Director, Leonardo Da Vinci Academy

Image - George Hammond

George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates—Moderator


4:15 p.m. doors open & check-in
5–7 p.m. program
(all times PDT)


$25 members
$35 nonmembers
Free for students (with valid I.D.)
$10 members
$20 nonmembers
Free for students (with valid I.D.)