Ann C. Pizzorusso
's new book is a wonderfully creative and gorgeously illustrated meeting of geology, art history, and Renaissance studies. Arguing that understanding Italy's geological history can significantly inform how we see its art, literature, medicine, architecture, and more, Tweeting Da Vinci
(Da Vinci Press, 2014) takes a deeply interdisciplinary approach to engaging the cultural history of Italy from the Etruscans to Da Vinci and beyond. The chapters explore the significance of volcanic activity, cave geology, lightning, gemstones, the healing powers of amber, underwater cities, and much more as they inform how we understand the histories of painting, religious practice, entombment, and the work of authors including Virgil, Dante, and Leonardo Da Vinci, among others. A pair of chapters focuses particularly closely on demonstrating how analyzing Da Vinci's art from the perspective of geology and botany has helped to identify and authenticate his work and that of his students. Enjoy!