Martin Kemp (art historian)

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Martin Kemp

Martin John Kemp (* 5. March 1942 in Windsor ) is a British art historian , author and emeritus professor of art history .


Kemp attended Windsor Grammar School and studied from 1960 at Cambridge University (Downing College) natural sciences and art history. He continued that in 1963 at the Courtauld Institute , where he received his diploma in Western art history in 1965. In 1965 he became a lecturer in art history at Dalhousie University in Halifax and from 1966 to 1981 he was a lecturer in art history at the University of Glasgow . In 1981 he became professor of art history at the University of St. Andrews , where he became professor of art history and art theory in 1990. From 1995 to 1997 he was Professor of Art History at Oxford University and from 2007 until his retirement in 2008 he held a research professorship in Art History at Oxford.

In 1984/85 he was at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 1987/88 he was Slade Professor at Cambridge University and in 1988 Benjamin Sonenberg visiting professor at the Institute for Art History at New York University . In 1993 he was Dorothy Ford Wiley Visiting Professor of Renaissance Culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , in 2000 Louise Smith Brosse Professor at the University of Chicago and in 2010 Visiting Professor at Harvard University and Princeton University . From 1993 to 1998 he was a Wolfson Research Professor at the British Academy . In 2001 he was visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute and in 2004 a Mellon Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal.


Martin Kemp is an expert on the work of Leonardo da Vinci .

In addition to his work as an author, he also curated various major Leonardo exhibitions: 1989 at the Hayward Gallery in London, 1993 at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh (Leonardo da Vinci: The mystery of the Madonna of the Yarnwinder), 2006 at Victoria and Albert Museum . In 1992 he was one of the curators of the Columbus Year exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington DC, 2000 an exhibition on bodies in art at the Hayward Gallery, 2007 an exhibition on sex and art at the Barbican Art Gallery, and in 2002 an exhibition on Gregor Mendel in the St. Thomas Abbey in Brno .

In addition to the art of the Renaissance, a focus of his work is the connections between art and science. In 2009, his rewriting of a drawing to Leonardo da Vinci caused a stir. Kemp justified the attribution of the Bella Principessa using forensic investigation methods. Kemp also believes that Salvator Mundi , considered the most valuable painting in the world due to an auction in 2017 , is an autograph work by Leonardo.

Honors and memberships

For his work on Leonardo and the art of the Italian Renaissance, he has been awarded the Armand Hammer Prize for Excellence in Leonardo Studies, the American Italian Association Prize, numerous other prizes and honorary doctorates (Heriot Watt University, Uppsala). He is a Fellow of the British Academy (since 1991), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (since 1992), a foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 1999), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts . In 1985 he received an Honorary Professorship from the Royal Scottish Academy and he is an Honorary Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. In 1995 he became a member of the Uppsala Academy of Sciences.

Fonts (selection)

  • The science of art: Optical themes in western art from Brunelleschi to Seurat . Yale University Press 1992. ISBN 978-0-30005241-1
  • Leonardo da Vinci. The marvelous works of nature and man , Oxford University Press 1981, 2006. ISBN 978-0-19280725-0
  • Leonardo. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2004, ISBN 0-19-280546-0 . Translation: Leonardo. Beck, Munich 2005. ISBN 3-406-53462-7
  • The human animal in western art and science , University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  • (with Pascal Cotte): Leonardo da Vinci "La Bella Principessa": The profile portrait of a Milanese woman. Hodder & Stoughton, London 2010. ISBN 978-1-444-70626-0
  • Christ to Coke: How image becomes icon , Oxford University Press 2011.
  • Art in History. 600 BC - 2000 AD: Ideas in Profile . Profile Books 2014.
  • Structural Intuitions: Seeing Shapes in Art and Science , University of Virginia Press 2016.
  • (with Giuseppe Pallanti): Mona Lisa. The People and the Painting . Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017.
  • Living with Leonardo. Fifty Years of Sanity and Insanity in the Art World and Beyond . London: Thames & Hudson 2018. ISBN 978-0-50023956-8
  • (with Robert B. Simon, Margaret Dalivalle): Leonardo's Salvator Mundi and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts . Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press 2019.
  • Leonardo da Vinci - The 100 Milestones . Sterling 2019. ISBN 978-1-45493042-6

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b International Who's Who of Authors and Writers. 23rd edition. Europa Publications, London 2008, p. 385.
  2. ^ Martin J. Kemp , Curriculum Vitae
  3. Martin Kemp, International curatorship
  4. Tom O'Neill: La Bella Principessa - a real da Vinci? In: National Geographic Germany , February 2012, pp. 122–129
  5. Michael Daley: The pear-shaped Salvator Mundi, accessed December 12, 2018
  6. Kemp, honors and awards