Books  Natural History  General Natural History 

Seen Unseen: Art, Science, and Intuition from Leonardo to the Hubble Telescope

By: Martin Kemp

352 pages, 258 illus

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Sep 2006 | #160410 | ISBN: 0199295727
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £41.49 $53/€46 approx

About this book

&i;Seen | Unseen&o; is a deep, richly illustrated, and erudite analysis of the interconnections between science and the visual arts. Martin Kemp explores the responses of artists, scientists, and their instruments, to the world - ranging from early representations of perspective, to pinhole cameras, particle accelerators and the Hubble telescope.

From Leonardo, Durer, and the inventors of photography to contemporary sculptors, and from Galileo and Darwin to Stephen J. Gould, Kemp considers the way in which scientists and artists have perceived the world and responded to its patterns, and sees common 'structural intuitions' reflected in their work.

This book will appeal to anyone interested in the visual arts, in form, perspective and aesthetics, and the history of art, as well as science readers interested in perception and the origins of our aesthetic sense.

There is much to treasure here. Those...looking for a handsome and beguiling study of different ways, scientific or artistic, in which we can mirror nature, will find much to enjoy. Charlie Gere, TLS This is a major book on an important theme...Seen/Unseen is massively well-informed. Piers Bizony, BBC Focus Dive in: the swim is bound to be rewarding... This is a mature book written by a scholar who has meditated for decades on the false dichotomy between scientific and artistic representations of nature. Bart Kahr, Nature What emerges from this multi-faceted closely argued tour de force is a conviction that the real excitement begins where the knowledge breaks down: in the visual institutions that give us the freedom and insight to "feel our way into the unknown". It is a tantalising conclusion to an exhilarating ride. Ariane Bankes, Financial Times


JOURNEY INTO SPACE; Looking into the box; The persistent box; LESSER AND GREATER WORLDS; The art of analogy: Leonardo and Palissy; The art of interaction: Robert Thornton and the Romantic era; Wholes and parts; DISCERNING DESIGNS; Natural geometries; Growth and form; OUT OF OUR HANDS; The camera before photography; 'The faithful record'; Invisible worlds; LOOKING BACKWARDS AND FOREWORDS: A SPECULATIVE CONCLUSION; FURTHER READING

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