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Good Reads  History & Other Humanities  History of Science & Nature

Science Illustration A History of Visual Knowledge from the 15th Century to Today

Art / Photobook
By: Anna Escardó(Author), Julius Wiedemann(Editor)
436 pages, colour & b/w illustrations
Publisher: Taschen
Science Illustration
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  • Science Illustration ISBN: 9783836573320 Hardback Jun 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Price: £59.99
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About this book

Language: Trilingual in English, French, and German

Science and illustration have always walked hand in hand, and not only the scientific community but the general public as well have used images since early history to understand natural phenomena. Moreover, from Galileo to Einstein, our modern history has been written with the key support of art and with all the insights it contributes. This XL-sized book collects more than 300 graphic works that range from original sketches to technical drawings, and from meticulous hand illustrations to computer-generated images.

The Western scientific revolution that started in the 14th century catapulted humankind into a completely new way of understanding how nature and the world around us behaved. Whether it was diseases caused by viruses or the vast galaxies of the cosmos, a new army of professionals turned their minds to unlocking and reshaping the universe of our experience with a dialectic positioned between theory and evidence. The field of illustration and the development of knowledge became inseparably intertwined, as can be seen by the majestic works shown in this book that were produced by the scientists and artists who specialized in this combined field.

Explore here the work of more than 700 scientists and over 300 discoveries in anatomy, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mechanics, and many other scientific fields, through the visual works that bring them to life. Combined with detailed texts explaining their scientific significance, the illustrations in this book introduce the work of such pioneering scientists as Andreas Vesalius, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Rosalind Franklin. The visualizations themselves present game-changing ideas and discoveries from the 15th century to the present day, notably including Galileo's watercolours of the moon, Bourgery's unparalleled Atlas of Human Anatomy and Surgery, Florence Nightingale's statistical diagrams to indicate war casualties, and Einstein's quickly scribbled ideas for his general theory of relativity.

Many discoveries in science take place as the result of counterintuitive thinking, and in order to visualize their work scientists have to connect with the resources of collective knowledge and in turn convey new information back to people. This book is for everyone who is continually amazed by the wonders of our world and who wants to find out more about it through the remarkable illustrations used to present advances in scientific understanding.

Customer Reviews


Anna Escardó studied literature theory and comparative literature, as well as mechanical engineering. This double academic training has led her to a constant search for bridges between the sciences and the humanities. A member of both the Catalan and Spanish Associations of Scientific Communication, she is head of communication for the Col·legi Oficial de Disseny Gràfic de Catalunya and works to provide content for scientific and cultural institutions and companies.

Julius Wiedemann studied graphic design and marketing and was an art editor for newspapers and design magazines in Tokyo before joining Taschen in 2001. His titles include the Illustration Now! and Record Covers series, as well as the infographics collection and books about advertising and visual culture.

Art / Photobook
By: Anna Escardó(Author), Julius Wiedemann(Editor)
436 pages, colour & b/w illustrations
Publisher: Taschen
Media reviews

"A treat for the eyes and the mind, this well-chosen assortment illuminates the insight into the importance of pictorial process in discoveries by thinkers like Albert Einstein and Galileo."
The Globe and Mail

"Scientists create illustrations not just to explain their ideas to others, but to make sense of their own data [...] Reading Anna Escardó's Science Illustration: A History of Visual Knowledge from the 15th Century to Today is like looking over the shoulder of those scientists. The illustrations show you what part of the world they were looking at – and what they saw in it that fascinated them."
The New York Times

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