Martin Kemp was trained in Natural Sciences and Art History at Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute, London. Between 1981-1995 he was Professor of the History of Art in St. Andrews and served as a Trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland.
He has curated and co-curated a series of exhibitions on Leonardo and other themes, including Spectacular Bodies at the Hayward Gallery in London and Leonardo da Vinci. Experience, Experiment, Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2006 and Seduced. Sex and Art from Antiquity to Now, Barbican Art Gallery London, 2007.
He was a regular writer for Nature, published as Visualisations and developed as Seen and Unseen(both Oxford) in which his concept of “structural intuitions” is explored.
His most recent book is Christ to Coke. How image becomes icon (Oxford), which looks at 11 representatives of types of icons across a wide range of public imagery.