Leslie Geddes

Leslie Geddes

Robert Lehman Fellow
Weapons of Atlas: The Art & Science of Early Modern Cartography (1580-1650)
Leslie Geddes


Leslie A. Geddes is Assistant Professor of Art History at Tulane University. She is the author of Watermarks: Leonardo da Vinci and the Mastery of Nature (Princeton University Press, 2020).



Project Summary

This research investigates mapping projects undertaken by a painter, a navigator, a mathematician, and a physician in Italy during 1580–1650. It interrogates mapping as bodily enactments and conceptual procedures in the work of Ignazio Danti (1536–1586), Giovanni Antonio Magini (1555–1617), Giuseppe Rosaccio (1530–1620), and Robert Dudley (1574–1649). Their output includes a painted map cycle for Gregory XIII, the first global maritime atlas, the first atlas of Italy, and an illustrated travel narrative. The movement of bodies, eyes, surveying instruments, and maps provides the backbone of this project, where the specific objects of this study are situated within the rich intellectual, sensory terrain of early modern cartography.