Leslie Geddes

Ph.D., 2014
Renaissance and Baroque


Leslie Geddes is Assistant Professor of Art History at Tulane University. She specializes in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture. Her research investigates the interrelation of art and science, specifically how early modern artists, architects, engineers, and cartographers observed, measured, rendered, and shaped the world around them.

Her book, Watermarks: Leonardo da Vinci and the Mastery of Nature (Princeton University Press, 2020), examines the work of Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) and his peers to analyze the subject of water in art in conjunction with the practical undertakings of hydraulic engineering. A revision of her prize-winning dissertation, the book was awarded subventions from the Barr Ferree Publication Fund and Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts.

Her current book project, Weapons of Atlas: The Art and Science of Early Modern Cartography (1580–1640), foregrounds how mechanical instruments and art theory in tandem had profound implications for map design in Italy and beyond. She has been awarded a number of grants for this new project, including the Robert Lehman Fellowship at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at the Villa I Tatti, a Short-Term Fellowship at the Huntington Library, Tulane’s Georges Lurcy Affiliated Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, and the Anna Jacobson Schutte Fellowship at the Newberry.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Watermarks: Leonardo da Vinci and the Mastery of Nature (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2020).

"Drawing Bridges: Leonardo da Vinci on Mastering Nature." In Illuminating Leonardo: A Festschrift for Carlo Pedretti Celebrating His 70 Years of Leonardo Scholarship (1944–2014), edited by Constance Moffatt and Sara Taglialagamba, 278–92. Leonardo Studies 1. Leiden: Brill, 2016.

“‘Infinite Slowness and Infinite Velocity’: The Representation of Time and Motion in Leonardo's Studies of Geology and Water." In Leonardo on Nature, edited by Alessandro Nova and Fabio Frosini, 269–83. Studi e Ricerche 11. Venice: Marsilio, 2015.

Catalogue entry in Marcantonio Raimondi, Raphael and the Image Multiplied, exh. cat., edited by Edward H. Wouk (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016), 192–93.

Review of Francesca Fiorani, The Shadow Drawing. How Science Taught Leonardo How to Paint. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020, Renaissance and Reformation 44.3 (forthcoming, Summer 2021).

Review of François Quiviger, Leonardo da Vinci: Self, Art and Nature, London: Reaktion Books, 2019, in Renaissance Quarterly 74.1 (Spring 2021): 249–250.