Science Inspired Art.

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Science Inspired Art.

#1  Postby Animavore » Mar 26, 2012 2:42 pm

A person on another forum (an atheist) mentioned that the one thing that could be said for religion was that it inspired great art and the same could not be said for science. I responded with Joseph Wright.

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

A detail from A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery

It got me thinking - What other great art has science inspired?
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Re: Science Inspired Art.

#2  Postby Evolving » Mar 26, 2012 3:25 pm

I went to an exhibition at Frankfurt in 2009 called "Darwin – Art and the Search for Origins"

The cover of the book accompanying the exhibition:


The exhibition is the first to focus on the implications of Darwinism for the fine arts. All of the artists featured in the exhibition shared an interest in the natural sciences and either read texts by Darwin or by those who reacted to him. With approximately 150 paintings, drawings, and lithographs as well as rare documentary material, the exhibition showcases artists such as Martin Johnson Heade, František Kupka, Odilon Redon, George Frederic Watts, Arnold Böcklin, Gabriel von Max, Alfred Kubin, and Max Ernst, and thus spans the period from 1859 to the mid twentieth century.

If this extends to any kind of art including theatre, I further offer you:

"Copenhagen" by Michael Frayn
"Die Physiker" by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
How extremely stupid not to have thought of that - T.H. Huxley
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Re: Science Inspired Art.

#3  Postby Nostalgia » Mar 31, 2012 5:57 pm

I love An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump. The scientist is brilliant looking. And the horror on the wee girl's face is fantastic, with her sister hiding her face and their dad saying "No, you got to look dear, this is educational". :grin:
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Re: Science Inspired Art.

#4  Postby Lemniscate » Mar 31, 2012 6:14 pm

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt

Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -- Thomas Paine
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Re: Science Inspired Art.

#5  Postby jaydot » Mar 31, 2012 10:56 pm

once people got out from under the suffocating hold of the church, art flourished as never before.
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Re: Science Inspired Art.

#6  Postby def » Apr 06, 2012 2:40 am

There is a lot that is related to science in art, depending on how you define it. The Futurists took an obsessive love of new technology. Lots of shiny metal machines, which were relatively new.
Surrealism was largely rooted in psychology, which was a hot new science at the turn of the 20th century.
The pointillism of Seurat was part of his fascination with the contemporary understanding of how light works.

But, a lot of artists, mainly from the late 19th century, involved technology in their work, while it might not be a focus of worship. But it was an inspiration to be creative. The prime argument to contrast the great religious works of the past is that for much of the last few thousand years, religious art is what was funded. It was difficult to exist as an artist making purely secular art. So to say religion "inspired" the art is a false claim. Going back to tribal art, it is fair, but not for the art that person is person is likely referring to.

Da Vinci might be an example of this. He had a very scientific mind (ie. dissecting corpses to draw in his free time) but paid the bills with some religious fare.

The other point would be that religion is a thing of worship, where believers are expected to pour themselves into their faith, while science doesn't ask that sort of devotion, especially not from an artist.

Still, science has been wrapped up in the play of lots of artists.
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