Art history professor will continue research on Da Vinci through Graves Award

Assistant Art History Professor Ricardo De Mambro Santos has won an Arnold L. and Lois S. Graves Award in the Humanities to support his groundbreaking research on the work of Leonardo Da Vinci.

De Mambro Santos is the 14th Willamette University faculty member since 1971 to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes outstanding accomplishment in teaching the humanities.

The Graves Award will allow De Mambro Santos to complete 10 years of monographic study on Da Vinci, which has focused on his art theory, creative methods and relationship with patrons. During the course of two summers, De Mambro Santos’ research will take him to St. Petersburg, Russia; Krakow, Poland; and Milan, Italy. While abroad, De Mambro Santos will explore archives and unpublished documents concerning the commissioning of Da Vinci’s “Virgin of the Rocks” and other paintings.

De Mambro Santos plans to continue teaching art history courses that focus on Da Vinci’s work, and he is excited to share his discoveries with Willamette students.

“I am most looking forward to the opportunity to find new material and new evidence,” De Mambro Santos says. “Art history is about solving a mystery, and I want my research to help my students explore new historical possibilities and go deeper into Da Vinci’s work.”

The Graves Award is administered by Pomona College and overseen by the American Council of Learned Societies. Only 41 colleges and universities in the western U.S. are eligible to nominate faculty for this biennial award.

Learn more about De Mambro Santos on the Department of Art History website.