IFTM student Sophia Zhang Haoyun publishes academic paper exploring the interplay of art and science in the work of Renaissance icon Leonardo da Vinci
Year 3 student Sophia Zhang Haoyun, enrolled on the Cultural and Heritage Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme at IFTM, recently had academic research published in the Journal of Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
Titled “Beauty of Water Movement in Leonardo’s Paintings in Renaissance,” Sophia’s research delved into the multifaceted genius of Leonardo da Vinci (1452- 1519), exploring topics such as water whirlpools, hair pigtail patterns, and representations of cardiovascular functions in the work of the Italian polymath. Her research was conducted as part of an online programme offered by PATH Academics between September and December 2022, amid lingering COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Employing analogies, case analysis, and literature reviews, she illustrated how da Vinci seamlessly blended science and art in his creations. Furthermore, Sophia explored architectural sketches present in da Vinci’s notebooks, investigating designs for a double helix staircase at Château de Chambord in Chambord, Centre-Val de Loire, France, and a bridge for the Golden Horn waterway in Istanbul, Turkey.
Motivated by her curiosity about the arts and heritage, Sophia opted for the PATH Academics online programme as an extracurricular pursuit. Da Vinci, with his multifaceted contributions to art, science, anatomy, and engineering, became the focal point of her research. “He was truly a genius,” she says.
PATH Academics is an online education brand associated with GEC Academy, a Beijing-based organisation offering project-based learning programmes online and onsite. PATH Academics focuses on encouraging students to explore and develop their academic interests while honing research skills.
“Leonardo da Vinci places a great deal of importance on the application of natural science in painting,” Sophia asserted in the conclusion of her paper, emphasising the Italian’s mastery of research perspectives, science of colour, anatomy, composition proportion, and scientific theory in his artistic creations.
For the student, engaging in extracurricular activities is not only about pursuing personal interests but also about enhancing her curriculum vitae. She holds the aspiration that publication of an academic paper will prove instrumental in her pursuit of further studies at postgraduate level in Europe.
Sophia, from Foshan in Guangdong Province, says she chose to study at IFTM to satisfy her “strong curiosity” in matters related to history. The Cultural and Heritage Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme, according to her, transcends mere tourism by encouraging students to explore heritage from diverse perspectives, including the arts and history. Moreover, Sophia highlights that the programme imparts a comprehensive understanding of Macao’s rich history of cultural fusion.