Published April 29, 2019 by Tom Porter

Leonardo da Vinci's Vision of Animals as the 'Image of the World'

“About six months ago, I stopped eating meat,” wrote Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures Arielle Saiber in The Conversation recently. Key to reaching that decision, she explained, was a renewed appreciation for the writings of Leonardo da Vinci, who died five hundred years ago this week (May 2.)


This came about while she was teaching a graduate course at UCLA, examining how writers of the Italian Renaissance—Saiber’s particular field of expertise—explored humanity by writing about the nonhuman.

In particular, she was struck by the words of da Vinci, who did not view humans as being superior to the animal world and who, in one treatise, described animals as “the image of the world.”

Read Arielle Saiber in The Conversation.