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The Visual Arts and the Natural Sciences in Historical Perspective:
An Annotated Bibliography

Compiled by David Topper, Department of History, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9 Canada.
E-mail: Topper@UWinnipeg.ca.

This bibliography has a clear and simple aim: to provide the reader/researcher with an annotated list of some of the best scholarship in English on the subject. (I've also included a few not-so-good items.) The subject is the historical interrelationship and interaction between the visual arts and the natural sciences. I am excluding material that is sometimes grouped under the more general heading, "Art & Science"; such as matters pertaining to technology, medicine, literature, music, psychology (e.g., psychoanalysis and creativity), as well as the wealth of material on perspective, the camera obscura, photography, and the Golden Section (although I do mention a few), and the huge volume of writings on the namesake of this journal, namely Leonardo da Vinci! I am also excluding material on contemporary art, since much of this has been covered in the journal Leonardo since its inception in 1968.

In two bibliographies (1980 [1] & 1985 [2]) compiled by John H. Holloway and myself we attempted a relatively comprehensive (un-annotated) list of writings over a wider range of material than delineated here. Some of the (pre-1985) writings cited in those two bibliographies will be found here; but much is new.

In addition to annotating this bibliography, I've also tried to cross-list most of the articles where they deal with similar themes. All of this is intended to make the bibliography as useful as possible.

Frankly, bibliographies need not be comprehensive to be useful. Good books and articles are themselves bibliographical sources in their citations and footnotes or endnotes. So by consulting the better books and articles on a topic, a reader can generate a fairly sweeping and exhausting list of works.

The focus here is mainly on writings that posit direct and often specific historical instances and relationships, rather than dealing with general philosophical or methodological matters (although some are cited: notably a few written by me!). Such a focus betrays my slant on art/science historiography: I believe that the most genuine historical work entails a real causal link between art and science (with concrete evidence), rather than an appeal to some nebulous "spirit of the times" or a Zeitgeist. I have outlined this position in my short article (1988 [3]). Frankly, I am, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, highly critical of much that I read on art/science matters. Therefore, this is, unashamedly, a biased bibliography.--DT


1. Topper, David R. and John H. Holloway (1980). "Interrelationships between the Visual Arts, Science, and Technology: A Bibliography," Leonardo 13, No.1 (1980), 29-33.

2. ---------- (1985). "Interrelationships of the Arts, Sciences, and Technology: A Bibliographic Up-Date, Leonardo 18, No. 3 (1985), 197-200.

3. Topper, David (1988). "On a Ghost of Historiography Past," Leonardo 21, No.1 (1988), 76-8.



Aichele, K. Porter (1993). "Paul Klee and the Energetics-Atomistic Controversy," Leonardo 26, No.4 (1993), 309-315. Shows the influence of this scientific dispute on Klee's art.

Alpers, Svetlana (1983). The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983). This much discussed book is built in part on Straker's (1976) discovery of the link between Dürer and Kepler.

Arnold, Wilfred Niels (1992). Vincent van Gogh: Chemicals, Crises, and Creativity (Basel: Birkhäuser, 1992).

----------(1997). "The Hard Sciences and the Humanities," Biochemical Education 25, No. 4 (1997), 211--214. Based, in part, on the author's work on Van Gogh.

Ashworth, William B. Jr. (1985). "Allegorical Astronomy: Baroque Scientists Encoded Their Most Dangerous Opinions in Art," The Sciences 25 (September/October, 1985), 34-37. On Copernican ideas hidden in illustrations.

Badt, Kurt (1950). John Constable's Clouds, trans. S. Godman (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1950). See also Bonacina (1937), Hawes (1969), Rees (1976), Thornes (1979a, 1979b), & Schweizer (1982).

Baigrie, Brian S., ed. (1996). Picturing Knowledge: Historical and Philosophical Problems Concerning the Use of Art in Science (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996). A key collection of articles devoted primarily to scientific illustration in technology, anatomy, chemistry, natural history, archaeology, biology, and more. See Heninger (1977).

Boime, Albert (1984). "Van Gogh's Starry Night: A History of Matter and a Matter of History," Arts Magazine 59, No. 4 (December, 1984), 86-103. Boime presents the possibility that Van Gogh was familiar with some contemporary writings in cosmology in his depiction of the night sky. Boime has made a CD-ROM of Starry Night, which is available from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for $39.95. Compare this with Whitney (1986) and Gedzelman (1990a).

Bonacina, L.C.W. (1937). "John Constable's Centenary: His Position as a Painter of Weather," Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 63, No. 272 (1937), 483-90. This is the first article on Constable's depictions of the sky; see the subsequent debate in Badt (1950), Hawes (1969), Rees (1976), Thornes (1979a; 1979b), & Schweizer (1982).

Brush, Stephen (1967). "Thermodynamics and History: Science and Culture in the 19th Century," Graduate Journal (Univ. of Texas) 7 (Spring, 1967), 477-. See next item.

---------- (1978). The Temperature of History: Phases of Science and Culture in the 19th Century (New York: Burt Franklin, 1978). An expansion of the previous article. This is an ambitious essay that flirts with Zeitgeist historiography, but Brush, one the best working historians of science, knows better. The "science" in the subtitle is mainly heat theory (one of his major areas of research) and "culture" entails the non-scientific spectrum (as defined in the 19th century) of literature, art, music, philosophy, and religion. Brush shows how the movements Romanticism, Realism, and Neo-romanticism were not confined to "culture" but were part of, and interacted with, science.

Burroughs, W.J. (1981). "Winter Landscapes and Climatic Change," Weather 36 (1981), 352-7. See Gedzelman (1991).

Butterfield, Herbert (1998). Herbert Butterfield: Essays on the History of Science, ed. Karl W. Schweizer (E. Mellen, 1998). Contains an essay on Renaissance art and modern science in which Butterfield argues that Florentine art laid the groundwork for the scientific revolution through, e.g., emphasizing direct observation of nature and the importance of mathematics.

Byard, Margaret M. (1988). "A New Heaven: Galileo and the Artists," History Today 38 (1988), 30-38. On the influence of Galileo's discoveries on three paintings: Adam Elsheimer's Flight into Egypt, Lodovico Cigoli's Assumption of the Virgin, and Andrea Sacchi's Divine Wisdom. See Cavina (1996), Ostrow (1996), and Reeves (1997).

Cavicchi, Elizabeth (1991). "Painting the Moon," Sky & Telescope 82 (September, 1991), 313-315. This is a terrific little article by an artist and amateur astronomer. Some historians have asserted that Galileo's wash drawings of the moon were done in his studio, not while viewing it through his telescope. Cavicchi provides evidence for Galileo's drawings being done on the spot by doing it herself!

Cavina, Anna Ottani (1976). "On the Theme of Landscape: Elsheimer and Galileo," Burlington Magazine 118 (1976), 139-144. On the possible influence of Galileo's discoveries on Elsheimer's painting The Flight into Egypt. See Byard (1997), Ostrow (1996), and Reeves (1997).

Cosgrove, Denis E. (1979). "John Ruskin and the Geographical Imagination," Geographical Review 69 (1979), 43-62. On the influence of Romanticism, geology, and religion on Ruskin's art. Also explores the interaction of theory and experience (empiricism) in Ruskin's drawing. See Smith, J. (1994).

DeSantillana, Giorgio (1959). "The Role of Art in the Scientific Renaissance," in Critical Problems in the History of Science, ed. Marshall Clagett (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1959), pp.33-65. This is a classic article on art and science, but it also is very dense and cryptic. After reading it numerous times over the years, I'm still not sure what his key points are.

Dickenson, Victoria (1998). Drawn from Life: Science and Art in the Portrayal of the New World (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998). On natural history illustration in the 19th century; the flora and faunas of North America, especially Canada.

Dixon, Laurinda S. (1981). Alchemical Imagery in Bosch's Garden of Delights (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1981).

---------- (1983). "Alchemical Eggs," The Sciences (March/April, 1983), 38-42. On Bosch's "Garden."

---------- (1984). "Bosch's St. Anthony Triptych - An Apothecary's Apotheosis," Art Journal 44, No. 2 (Summer, 1984), 119-131. On pharmacy and alchemy in Bosch's painting. As an antidote to this work see Elkins (1992).

Edgerton, Samuel Y., Jr. (1975). The Renaissance Rediscovery of Linear Perspective (New York: Basic Books, 1975). Among other things, Edgerton shows the influence of Ptolemaic cartography on the development of linear perspective. Edgerton has been a key scholar on art and science from the late Middle Ages through the Scientific Revolution (see especially the citations below).

---------- (1980). "The Renaissance Artist as Quantifier," in The Perception of Pictures, ed. Margaret Hagen (New York: Academic Press, 1980), vol.1, p. 179-213. Edgerton's provocative thesis is that naturalism in Renaissance art provided the requisite pictorial framework for the Scientific Revolution by creating a new space for the new physics of motion to emerge. Note that facets of this thesis have been seriously challenged by Michael S. Mahoney (1985).

---------- (1984). "Galileo, Florentine 'Disegno' and the 'strange Spotednesse' of the Moon," Art Journal 44, No. 3 (Fall, 1984), 225-48. A revised version of this appears as a chapter in Edgerton (1991).

---------- (1985). "The Renaissance Development of the Scientific Illustration," in Shirley & Hoeniger, Sciences and the Arts... (1985), pp. 168-97. A continuation of the thesis in Edgerton (1980).

---------- (1991). The Heritage of Giotto's Geometry: Art and Science on the Eve of the Scientific Revolution (Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1991). An important work on late medieval and Renaissance art, dealing with themes that relate to science (such as Galileo's depictions of the moon).

---------- (1995). "Art, Science, and the Renaissance Way of Seeing," in Science and the Future: 1995: Encyclopedia Britannica Yearbook, pp. 66-84. This is an overview of Edgerton's thesis as presented in 1980 and 1985.

---------- and Michael Lynch (1996). "Abstract Painting and Astronomical Image Processing: From Pictorial Schemata to (Non) Representational Techniques," in The Elusive Synthesis: Aesthetics and Science, ed. A.I. Tauber (Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996), pp. 103-124. A suggestive essay comparing contemporary scientific problems with abstract art.

Elkins, James (1984). "Michelangelo and the Human Form: His Knowledge and Use of Anatomy," Art History 7, No. 2 (June, 1984), 176-86. Elkins is a surface anatomist who shows that Michelangelo saw and sculpted aspects of human surface anatomy for which terminology has not yet been coined.

---------- (1992). "On the Unimportance of Alchemy in Western Painting," Konsthistorisk Tidsskrift 61, Nos. 1--2 (1992), 21-26. See Dixon (1981, 1983, 1984).

Ellenius, Allan, ed. (1985). The Natural Sciences and the Arts: Aspects of Interaction from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century (Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell International, 1985). This is a very good collection of articles. See especially the essays by Ackerman, Ashworth, Kemp, and Knight.

Field, J.V. and Frank A.J.L. James (1997). Science in Art: Works in the National Gallery that Illustrate the History of Science and Technology (Oxfordshire: British Society for the History of Science, 1997). This short catalogue is a wonderful example of "science in art" from a number of points of view.

Finley, Gerald E. (1967). "Turner: An Early Experiment with Colour Theory," Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes 30 (1967), 359-362. See next item.

---------- (1973). "A 'New Route' in 1822: Turner's Colour and Optics," Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes 36 (1973), 385-390. These two papers show Turner's experimenting with a range of color theories in the early 19th century. See JaffÈ (1971).

Gedzelman, Stanley David (1989). "Cloud Classification before Luke Howard," Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 70 (1989), 381-95. This is the first in a series of pathbreaking articles on meteorology in art. See also Bonacina (1939), Burroughs (1981), Neuberger (1970), Walsh (1991). The reader may also wish to pursue the debate over John Constable's depictions of clouds; the citations may be found beginning with Bonacina (1939).

---------- (1990a). "The Meteorological Odyssey of Vincent van Gogh," Leonardo 23 (1990), 107-116. Compare this with Boime (1984) and Whitney (1986).

---------- (1990b). "Leonardo da Vinci and the Downburst," Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 71 (1990), 649-55. A reinterpretation of Leonardo's famous drawings from a realist rather than a visionary point of view.

---------- (1991a). "Atmospheric Optics in Art," Applied Optics 30, no 24 (1991), 3514-22.

---------- (1991b). "Weather Forecasts in Art," Leonardo 24, No. 4 (1991), 441-51.

----------(1991/92). "The Sky in Art," Weatherwise (December 1991 & January 1992), 8--13.

Gibbons, T. H. (1981). "Cubism and the Fourth Dimension," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 44 (1981), 130-147. See Henderson (1971, 1983).

Gibson, Walter S. (1989). "Mirror of the Earth," The World Landscape in 16th Century Flemish Painting (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1989). On the impact of cartography on Flemish art.

Gilbert, Creighton (1966). "Florentine Painters and the Origins of Modern Science," Arte in Europa: Scritti di Storia dell'Arte in onore di Edoardo Arslan, vol. 1 (Milan, 1966), 333--340. Reveals the historiographical debate around the 1960s on the role of the Renaissance in the Scientific Revolution.

Gingerich, Owen (1978). "Circumventing Newton: A Study in Scientific Creativity," American Journal of Physics 46, No. 3 (March, 1978), 202-6. Reprinted in Gingerich's book, The Eye of Heaven: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler (New York: American Institute of Physics, 1993), Chapter 25. A thought provoking paper on scientific creativity with some thoughts on art; cf. Topper (1990a).

Hartley, Beryl (1996). "The Living Academies of Nature: Scientific Experiment in Learning and Communicating the New Skills of Early 19th Century Landscape Painting," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 27, No. 2 (1996), 149-180. Using Constable's famous pronouncement that landscape painting should be considered a branch of science and that paintings are the experiments, Hartley tests it by looking at 20 manuals for drawing trees from 1770 - 1860.

Haskell, Francis (1967). "The Apotheosis of Newton in Art," Texas Quarterly 10 (Autumn, 1967), 218-37. On the depictions of Newton in 18th century art.

Hawes, Louis (1969). "Constable's Sky Sketches," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 32 (1969), 344-65. See also Badt (1950), Bonacina (1937), Rees (1976), Thornes (1979a & 1979b), & Schweizer (1982).

Henderson, Linda Dalrymple (1971). "A New Facet of Cubism: 'The Fourth Dimension' and 'Non-Euclidean Geometry' Reinterpreted," Art Quarterly 34 (1971), 410- 33. A pathbreaking article that first exposed the real connection between "science" and Cubism, rather than the vague Zeitgeist approach that posited a relationship between Relativity and Cubism. This research was expanded in the book (1983). See Gibbons (1981).

---------- (1975/6). "The Merging of Time and Space: The Fourth Dimension in Russia from Ouspensky to Malavich," The Structurist, No. 15/16 (1975/6), 97-108.

---------- (1981). "Italian Futurism and the Fourth Dimension," Art Journal 41 (Winter, 1981), 317-327.

---------- (1983). The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983). See my comments to Henderson (1971). An excerpt from this book was published in Leonardo 17 (1984), 205-210.

---------- (1988). "X Rays and the Quest for Invisible Reality in the Art of Kupka, Duchamp, and the Cubists," Art Journal 47 (Winter, 1988), 323-240. Shows the possible influence of the discovery of x-rays and radioactivity on art. See the next article too.

---------- (1989). "Francis Picabia, Radiometers, and X-Rays in 1913," The Art Bulletin 71 (1989), 114-123. See above too.

---------- (1996). "Ethereal Bride and Mechanical Bachelors: Science and Allegory in Marcel Duchamp's Large Glass," Configurations 4, No. 1 (Winter, 1996), 91-120. See the next citation.

---------- (1997). "Marcel Duchamp's The King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes (1912) and the Invisible World of Electrons," Weber Studies 14, No. 1 (Winter, 1997), 83-99. See the above citation, and the next one.

---------- (1998a). "The Large Glass Seen Anew: Reflections of Contemporary Science and Technology in Marcel Duchamp's Hilarious Picture," Leonardo 32, no. 2 (1999), 113--126. An excerpt from Chapter 13 of the book below.

---------- (1998b). Duchamp in Context: Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Early Works (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998). See Holton (2001).

---------- and Bruce Clark, eds. (2002). From Energy to Information: Representation in Science and Technology, Art and Literature (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 2002).

Heninger, S. K. Jr. (1977). The Cosmographical Glass: Renaissance Drawings of the Universe (San Marino, CA.: The Huntington Library, 1977). Although not really a book on the visual arts and science (it is more on the subject of scientific illustration), I've included it because it contains wonderful drawings of the cosmological models (although they are all in black & white). See Baigrie (1996).

[Herz-]Fischler, Roger (1981). "On the Application of the Golden Ratio in the Visual Arts, Leonardo 14, No. 1 (1981), 31-2. See next item.

---------- (1983). "An Examination of Claims concerning Seurat and 'The Golden Number,'" Gazette des Beaux-Arts 125 (1983), 109-112. I mention the important work of Herz-Fischler because he has shown that the reputed employment of the Golden Section (or Number, or Ratio) in the visual arts is mostly a myth. See Lee (1987).

Hill, Christopher (1989). "Science in Pictures," Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 14 (1989), 374--383. On the scientific content in six pictures, from Bosch to Joseph Wright.

Holton, Gerald (2001). "Henri Poincaré, Marcel Duchamp and Innovation in Science and Art," Leonardo 34, No. 2 (2001), 127--134. Holton makes a convincing case for the influence of Poincaré's popular writings about mathematics on some of Duchamp's ideas about art.

Howard, Deborah (1992). "Elsheimer's Flight into Egypt and the Night Sky in the Renaissance," Zeitscrift für Kunstgeschichte 55 (1992), 212--224. On the naturalistic sky in Adam Elsheimer's 1609 painting. See Cavina (1976).

Hutchinson, G. Evelyn (1974). "Attitudes toward Nature in Medieval England: The Alphonso and Bird Psalters," Isis 65 (1974), 4-37. On the realistic depiction of birds. See Pacht (1950) and White (1947).

Ivins, William M. (1964). Art and Geometry: A Study in Space Intuitions (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1946; New York: Dover, 1964 reprint). A classic study of the ancient Greeks, but very speculative.

Jaffé, Michael (1971). "Rubins and Optics," Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes 34 (1971), 362-66. See Finley (1967, 1973).

Jones, Caroline A. and Peter Galison, eds. (1998). Picturing Science, Producing Art (New York & London: Routledge, 1998). This is an important collection of nineteen essays on a range of topics bordering art and science.

Jordanova, Ludmilla (2002). "And?," British Journal for the History of Science 35 (2002), 341--345. This is a thoughtful and critical review of three recent books on the art & science issue. She raises some major questions on how this issue has been approached.

Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta (1993). The Mastery of Nature: Aspects of Art, Science, & Humanism in the Renaissance (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1993). This is a collection of 7 previously published essays "on the relation of art, collecting, patronage, & science, treating the transformation of world views and symbolism..." (p. 8), written from an art historical point of view, so that science and scientists do not play a major role in the essays.

Keller, Susanne B. (1998). "Sections and Views: Visual Representation in Eighteenth-century Earthquake Studies," British Journal for the History of Science 31 (1998), 129--159. On the visual representation of two earthquakes in the 18th century---one schematic, showing geological sections, and the other topographical. In each the issue of image and text is addressed.

Kemp, Martin. (1990a). The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1990). A large and major work detailing the history of perspective, optics, and color theory - with considerable material related to the natural sciences (e.g., on Galileo's depictions of the moon and sun, and Newton on optics).

---------- (1990b). "Taking it on Trust: Form and Meaning in Naturalistic Representation," Archives of Natural History 17 (1990), 127-88. On naturalistic depiction and empiricism.

---------- (1993). "The Mark of Truth: Looking and Learning in Some Anatomical Illustrations from the Renaissance and Eighteenth Century," in Medicine and the Five Senses, ed. William F. Bynum & Roy Porter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 85-121.

---------- (1995). "Spirals of Life: D'Arcy Thompson and Theodore Cook, with Leonardo and Dürer in Retrospect," Physis 32 (1995), 37-54. On these artists' views of fundamental shapes in living things.

---------- (2000). Visualizations: The Nature Book of Art and Science (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000). A wonderful collection of very short essays, originally written for the journal Nature.

Kern, Stephen (1983). The Culture of Time and Space: 1880-1918 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983). An example of a modified Zeitgeist approach to Art and Science, where "connections" are often forced & seldom shown to be causally related. See Shlain (1991) and Vitz (1984).

Klonk, Charlotte (1996). Science and the Perception of Nature: British Landscape Art in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries (New Haven and London: Yale Univ. Press, 1996). This book is a series of case studies on specific topics, such as the influence of science (physiology) on aesthetics, the relationship of taxonomy to scientific illustration, and the interplay between geological illustration and landscape. Klonk realizes the pitfalls of the Zeitgeist approach, noting that the links between art and science are "more subtle and unpredictable than the idea that they are both products of a homogeneous, underlying Zeitgeist or expressions of socio-economic forces" (p. 6). Her aim is to grasp the epistemological framework of landscape art at the time, which she calls "phenomenalism" - the attempt to capture faithfully the appearances (not the essence) of reality. See Stafford (1984,1991,1994) and Mitchell (1993).

Kuhn, Thomas S. (1977). "Comment on the Relations of Science and Art," in his The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1977), chapter 14, pp. 340-351. This is a reprint of an article published in Comparative Studies in Society and History 11 (1969), 403-12. The focus here is on the differences between art and science, primarily from a sociological viewpoint.

Lee, Alan (1987). "Seurat and Science," Art History 10, No. 2 (June, 1987), 203-26. Lee argues, contrary to conventional wisdom, that Seurat's use of science was flawed, that he misunderstood science, and indeed his method was pseudo-science. (The conventional thesis may be found in the references cited by Lee.) See, however, the critique of Lee by Dana A. Freeman in Art History 11, No. 2 (June, 1988), 150-55. The reader may also wish to consult Herz-Fischler (1983), P. Smith (1990), and Ratliff (1992).

Lippincott, Kristen (1993). "Raphael's Astronomia: Between Art and Science," in Making Instruments Count: Essays on Historical Scientific Instruments presented to Gerard L'Estrange Turner, eds. R.G.W. Anderson, J.A. Bennett, W.F. Ryan (Aldershot, England: Variorum, 1993), 75-87. On Raphael's depiction of the celestial globe in the vaulting of the Stanza della Segnatura.

Lynch, Terence (1982). "The Geometrical Body in Dürer's Engraving, Melencolia I," Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes 45 (1982), 226-32. A study of the geometrical form in Dürer's famous print. See Pingree (1980).

Mahoney, Michael S. (1985). "Diagrams and Dynamics: Mathematical Perspectives on Edgerton's Thesis," in Shirley and Hoeniger, Science and the Arts... (1985), pp.198-220. A critique of Edgerton (1980 & 1985).

Malina, Frank J. (1968). "Some Reflections on the Differences between Science and Art, in Data: Directions in Art, Theory, and Aesthetics, ed. A. Hill ((London: Faber & Faber, 1968), 134-148. See next item.

---------- (1974). "Reflections of an Artist-Engineer on the Art-Science Interface," Impact of Science on Society (Unesco) 24 (1974), 19-29. Important reflections from a practicing scientist -engineer, and artist.

Macagno, Matilda (1992). "Aqua Depicta: Representations of Water in Art and Science," La Houille Blanche (Paris), No. 5 (1992), 371-9. A diverse discussion of ways of depicting water, showing the influence of conventions.

Meyer, Barbara Hochstetler, and Alice Wilson Glover (1989). "Botany and Art in Leonardo's Leda and the Swan," Leonardo 22, No. 1 (1989), 75--82.

Miller, Arthur I. (1986). Imagery in Scientific Thought: Creating 20th Century Physics (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986).

----------(1995). "Aesthetics, Representation and Creativity in Art and Science," Leonardo 28 (1995), 185--192).

----------(1996). Insights of Genius: Imagery and Creativity in Science and Art (New York: Springer, 1996).

----------(2001). Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty that Causes Havoc (New York: Basic Books, 2001). In this and the above works, Miller makes a convincing case for how art and science are kindred spirits, especially in the 20th century. These works make an important contribution to the issue of historical relationship between the visual arts and the physical sciences, with an emphasis on the role of visualization in science.

Mitchell, Timothy F. (1993). Art and Science in German Landscape Painting, 1770-1840 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993). The "science" part of the title is mainly geology. The period covered corresponds to the birth of modern geology (what historians call the "golden age" of geology), from Werner's Neptunism through Hutton and Lyell's Uniformitarianism. The connections of this science (and other intellectual pursuits of the time) with art that Mitchell makes are mainly through the Zeitgeist, or as he calls the approach - "intertextuality" (p.9).

Montgomery, Scott. L. (1994). "The First Naturalistic Drawings of the Moon: Jan Van Eyck and the Art of Observation," Journal for the History of Astronomy 25 (1994), 317-320. The title says it all, but see his other writings.

---------- (1996a). The Scientific Voice (New York & London: The Guilford Press, 1996). A collection of essays on science studies, the most relevant one here is, "Expanding the Earth: Seeing and Naming the Skies - the Case of the Moon." (Chapter 4), on the history of the names for the surface features of the moon. The essay has been expanded in the forthcoming book (1998).

---------- (1996b). "The Eye and the Rock: Art, Observation and the Naturalistic Drawing of Earth Strata," Earth Sciences History 15, No. 1 (1996), 3-24. An expanded account of the subject matter in (1994).

---------- (1998). The Moon and the Western Imagination (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1999). This book is a significant historical tour of ideas about the moon from ancient times into the 20th century.

Murutes, Harry (1993). "Review of Gardner's Art through the Ages," Art Journal (Fall, 1993), 100-4. In this review, Murutes refers to a 1968 article in German by Cord Meckseper in which it is argued that Albrecht Altdorfer's famous painting, The Battle of Issus, is a depiction of a real landscape in Asia Minor where the battle took place.

Neuberger, Hans (1970). "Climate in Art," Weather 25, No. 2 (Feb., 1970), 46-65. See Gedzelman (1991).

North, John (2002). The Ambassadors' Secret: Holbein and the World of the Renaissance (London & New York: Hambledon & London, 2002). As I wrote in my review of this book in Leonardo Digital Review of June 2003, it is a tour-de-force of scholarship on seemingly everything about Holbein's famous painting and its interpretation. It is a fascinating and captivating book, especially on the details of the scientific content in the picture.

Olson, David R. (1994). The World on Paper: The Conceptual and Cognitive Implications of Writing and Reading (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994). See Chapter 10, "Representing the World in Maps, Diagrams, Formulas, Pictures, and Texts," (pp. 195-233), which is an overview of the epistemology of representation in the 17th century.

Olson, Roberta J. M. (1979). "Giotto's Portrait of Halley's Comet," Scientific American 240 (May,1979), 160-170. Shows that Halley's comet is the "star" of Bethlehem in Giotto's Nativity scene in Arena Chapel. See next item.

---------- (1984). "...And They Saw Stars: Renaissance Representations of Comets and Pretelescopic Astronomy," Art Journal 44, No. 3 (Fall, 1984), 216-224. Giotto and more.

Opper, Jacob (1973). Science and the Arts: A Study in Relationship, 1600-1900 (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickenson Univ. Press, 1973). Another study of art & science based on the Zeitgeist model. The simplistic generalizations about historical periods of science and art allow the author to force relationships between them. There is also a strong emphasis on music.

Ostrow, Steven F. (1996). "Cigoli's Immacolata and Galileo's Moon: Astronomy and the Virgin in Early Seicento Rome," The Art Bulletin 78 (1996), 218-235. The title speaks for itself; cf. Reeves (1997).

Pacht, Otto (1950). "Early Italian Nature Studies and the Early Calendar Landscape," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 13 (1950), 13-47. An older but still useful article. See Hutchinson (1974) and White (1947).

Panofsky, Erwin (1952). "Artist, Scientist, Genius: Notes on the 'Renaissance Dämmerung'," in The Renaissance: Six Essays, ed. Wallace K. Ferguson, et al. (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), pp. 121-82. This is a reprint of Panofsky's classics lecture of 1952 delivered at a Renaissance symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Park, Katharine (1994). "The Criminal and the Saintly Body: Autopsy and Dissection in Renaissance Italy," Renaissance Quarterly 47 (1994), 1-33. Although I stated in my Introduction that this bibliography is not on medicine, I am including this article because it deals with the common myth found in numerous art texts (analogous to the flat earth myth) that dissection was not preformed in the Middle Ages.

Perkowitz, Sidney (1996). Empire of Light: A History of Discovery in Science and Art (Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press, 1996). This book is not what the subtitle suggests. It is fundamentally an essay on optics written by a laser scientist. The "history" is Whiggish and naïve. The discussions of art are mainly of a technical nature, about pigments and light.

Pingree, David (1980). "A New Look at Melencolia I," Jour. of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes 43 (1980), 257-8. Argues that, among other things, the celestial object in the engraving is Saturn, not a comet (as is often assumed). See Lynch (1982).

Pizzorusso, Ann C. (1996). "Leonardo's Geology: The Authenticity of the Virgin of the Rocks," Leonardo 29, No. 3 (1996), 197-200. Through a comparison of the geological formations in the two versions of Leonardo's painting, the author concludes that the Louvre version is authentic (since the geological formations are realistic) and the National Gallery (London) is a copy.

----------(1996b). "The Naturalist Genius of Leonardo da Vinci," Explorer's Journal 74, No. 1 (Spring, 1996), 24--29.

Pollock, Martin, ed. (1983). Common Denominators in Art and Science (Aberdeen: Aberdeen Univ. Press, 1983). A collection papers from a conference at the University of Edinburgh, November 1981. A wide-ranging variety of lectures, although all are not on the topic of the conference. Perhaps the most fascinating and informative parts of this book are the discussions among the many participants that are quoted after almost every lecture, which often focus on the differences between art and science and the corresponding historiographical problems .

Pyne, Kathleen (1996). Art and the Higher Life: Painting & Evolutionary Thought in Late 19th Century America (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1996). Despite the subtitle, the "science" connection with art in this book is essentially Darwinism (or a form of Social Darwinism) filtered through Herbert Spencer & other social scientists. There is little display of a direct influence of science on art, but I mention this book to include a work in this genre.

Ratliff, Floyd (1992). Paul Signac and Color in Neo-Impressionism (New York: The Rockefeller Univ. Press, 1992). See Lee (1987).

Rees, Ronald (1976). "John Constable and the Art of Geography," Geographical Review 66 (1976), 59-72. See also Badt (1950), Bonacina (1937), Hawes (1969), Thornes (1979a; 1979b), & Schweizer (1982).

---------- (1980). "Historical Links between Cartography and Art," Geographical Review 70 (1980), 60-78. An overview of the subject from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, with the main focus on the 15th and 16th centuries.

Reeves, Eileen (1997). Painting the Heavens: Art and Science in the Age of Galileo (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997). This is an important book on the interrelationship between Galileo's astronomical observations and some depictions of the heavens in the 17th century. A significant portion of the book is devoted to the impact of Galileo's discovery of earthshine (sunlight reflected from the earth onto the moon). Another important contribution is her detailed analysis of Cigoli's painting of the moon at the Virgin's feet in Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome), which he painted, not as was customary (smooth and perfect, as the ancients believed) but rough and uneven as his friend, Galileo, described through the telescope. See Ostrow (1996).

Rhys, Hedley H., ed. (1961). 17th Century Science and the Arts (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1961). See especially the essays by Stephen Toulmin and James Ackerman.

Richardson, John Adkins (1971). Modern Art and Scientific Thought (Urbana, Ill.: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1971). There are some suggestive ideas in this book but it flirts too much with Zeitgeist methodology for me.

---------- (1995). "On the 'Multiple Viewpoint' Theory of Early Modern Art," Journal of Aesthetic and Art Criticism 53, No. 2 (Spring, 1995), 129-137. Although this is not on art and science, I include it because I think it is important to the issue (myth) of science and Cubism (see Henderson, 1971, 1983). For Richardson challenges the theory of multiple viewpoints in Cubism, which is often used to show a relation to the physics (especially Einstein's Relativity) at the time.

Rudwick, Martin J.S. (1976). "The Emergence of a Visual Language for Geological Science 1760-1840," History of Science 14 (1976), 149-95. A groundbreaking article on geological illustration, which has been appreciated only recently. See Baigrie (1996).

Schweitzer, Paul D. (1982). "John Constable, Rainbow Science, and English Color Theory," The Art Bulletin 64 (1982), 424-45. See also Badt (1950), Bonacina (1937), Hawes (1969), Rees (1976), & Thornes (1979a,1979b).

Sheon, Aaron (1971). "French Art and Science in the mid-19th century: Some Points of Contact," The Art Quarterly 34 (1971), 434-55. On the possible impact of science (optics, meteorology, & astronomy) on the Barbizon landscape painters. The evidence is suggestive but not direct. See Richardson (1971) and Wright (1980).

Shirley, J. W. and F.D. Hoeniger, eds. (1985). Science and the Arts in the Renaissance (Washington, D.C.: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1985). A valuable collection of essays, several are listed in this bibliography. See Mahoney (1985) and Edgerton (1985).

Shlain, Leonard (1991). Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light (New York: William Morrow Press, 1991). Not only does Shlain believe that artists and scientists think alike in all periods of Western art and science, but he also proposes that artists conceive (by "precognition") the discoveries of science before them. As well, the book is full of historical errors and misconceptions. This is Zeitgeist historiography at its worst. See Kern (1983) and Vitz (1984).

Shrimplin [-Evangelidis], Valerie (1990). "Sun-Symbolism and Cosmology in Michelangelo's Last Judgment," Sixteenth Century Journal 31 (2000), 607--664.

---------- (2000a). "Michelangelo and Copernicus: A Note on the Sistine 'Last Judgment,' " Journal for the History of Astronomy 31 (2000), 156--160.

---------- (2000b). Sun Symbolism and Cosmology in Michelangelo's Last Judgment, (Missouri: Truman State University Press, 2000). In these works she makes a convincing case for Michelangelo having visualized Copernicus' heliocentric system in his famous fresco.

Silver, Larry (1999). "Nature and Nature's God: Landscape and Cosmos of Albrecht Altdorfer," The Art Bulletin 81, No. 2 (1999), 194--214. On Altdorfer's use of celestial phenomena in his paintings to reveal cosmic significance linking heaven and earth. He points to some comets and novae in specific works. Also discusses the Battle of Issus regarding geological details and symbolism. See Murutes (1993).

Smith, Cyril Stanley (1971). "Art, Science, and Technology: Notes on Their Historical Interaction," in Perspectives in the History of Science and Technology, ed. Duane H.D. Roller (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971), pp.129-165. This article was also published in Technology and Culture 11 (1970), 491-549. Although the scope of Smith's essay is beyond the range of this bibliography (since it is on technology and the history of materials) I've included it because it is classic.

Smith, Jonathan (1994). "Art and Science: The Method of John Ruskin's Modern Painters," in Scientific Methods: Conceptual & Historical Problems, ed. Peter Achinstein & Laura Snyder (Malabar, Fla.: Krieger, 1994), 119-136. Mainly on Ruskin's criticism of John Tyndall, and reveals how Ruskin's strict inductivist position influenced his views about art and science. See Cosgrove (1979).

Smith, Paul (1990). "Seurat: The Natural Scientist?," Apollo 132 (1990), 381-85. See Lee (1987).

Stafford, Barbara Maria (1982). "Endymion's Moonbath: Art and Science in Girodet's Early Masterpiece," Leonardo 15 (1982), 193-8. Scientific influences on Girodet painting.

----------- (1984). Voyage into Substance: Art, Science, Nature, and the Illustrated Travel Account, 1760-1840 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1984). See next two items.

----------- (1991). Body Criticism: Imaging the Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991). See next item.

----------- (1994). Artful Science: Enlightenment Entertainment and the Eclipse of Visual Education (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994). Stafford's three books are pioneering studies on the visualization of knowledge in 18th century and after, in the following subjects, respectively: natural history, medicine, and popular science and technology. However, I find her writings difficult to follow because of her heavy, turgid prose. See Baigrie ( 1996).

Stoddart, David R. (1995). "Darwin and the Seeing Eye: Iconography and Meaning in the Beagle Years," Earth Sciences History 14, No. 1 (1995), 3--22. On "the contrast between Darwin's verbal facility in describing landscapes and evoking mood, and his general inability to translate his images into visual representations."

Stokes, Charlotte (1980). "The Scientific Methods of Max Ernst: His Use of Scientific Subjects from La Nature," The Art Bulletin 62, No. 3 (1980), 453-65. Shows how Ernst used illustrations from popular science in his surrealistic art.

Straker, Stephen (1976). "The Eye Made 'Other': Dürer, Kepler, and the Mechanization of Light and Vision," Science, Technology, and Culture in Historical Perspective (University of Calgary Studies in History, No. 1), edited by L.A. Knafla, M.S. Staum, & T.H.E.Travers (Calgary: University of Calgary, 1976), pp. 7-25. This important essay on the influence of Dürer on Kepler unfortunately appears only in a relatively obscure publication; it deserves to be reprinted in a more accessible form. See Alper (1983) who drew heavily from Straker's article.

Stumpel, Jeroen (1989). "On Painting and Planets: A Note on Art Theory and the Copernican Revolution," Three Cultures: Fifteen Lectures on the Confrontation of Academic Cultures (The Hague: Universitaire Pers Rotterdam, 1989), pp. 177-202. This is a rather obscure - but I think important - little article on the connection between art theory and Copernicus' De Revolutionibus (1543). Copernicus says, in so many words, that the ancient Ptolemaic system is ugly because it is like picture of a person composed of parts (limbs, etc) from different people. Stumpel traces the origin of this idea in the art theory of Alberti and others, speculating that Copernicus may have become acquainted with this during his stay in Italy as a student.

Summer, David (1987). The Judgment of Sense: Renaissance Naturalism and the Rise of Aesthetics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). This is a highly abstract account of the prehistory of modern aesthetics. It traces the ancient notion of "common sense [sensation]" and aesthetic judgment (particularly Aristotle's doctrine of sensation) from Plato and Aristotle through the Renaissance, and after (into the 17th & 18th centuries). It is a deeply philosophical work, squarely within the classical tradition of the history of ideas. I've included it because it does purport to clarify certain origins of Renaissance naturalism and also because the author sees a Zeitgeist methodology as anathema to his purpose (p.16).

Thornes, John (1979a). "Constable's Clouds," Burlington Magazine (November, 1979), 697-704. See next item.

---------- (1979b). "The Weather Dating of John Constable's Cloud Studies," Weather 34 (1979), 308-15. See also Badt (1950), Bonacina (1937), Hawes (1969), Rees (1976), & Schweizer (1982).

Topper, David (1988). "On a Ghost of Historiography Past," Leonardo 21, No. 1 (1988), 76-8. A short critique of Zeitgeist historiography.

----------- (1990a). "The Parallel Fallacy: On Comparing Art and Science," British Journal of Aesthetics 30, No. 4 (October, 1990), 311-18. I make the case for comparing similar artifacts when art and science are discussed, pointing to the fallacy that otherwise results.

---------- (1990b). "Natural Science and Visual Art: Reflections on the Interface," in Beyond History of Science: Essays in Honor of Robert E. Schofield, ed. Elizabeth Garber (Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 1990), pp. 296-310. More of my hypothesis on what constitutes a valid comparison and a historical relationship between art and science.

----------- (1996). "Towards an Epistemology of Scientific Illustration," in Baigrie (1996) Picturing Knowledge, pp. 215-249. An overview of the literature, covering natural history, the life sciences, physics, geology, and technology as well as art artifacts as a form of illustration. This is the third paper (1990 a & b) in my "trilogy" on art and science.

Topper, David R. and John H. Holloway (1980). "Interrelationships between the Visual Arts, Science, and Technology: A Bibliography," Leonardo 13, No. 1 (1980), 29-33.

---------- (1985). "Interrelationships of the Arts, Sciences, and Technology: A Bibliographic Up-Date, Leonardo 18, No. 3 (1985), 197-200.

Topper, David and Cynthia Gillis (1996). "Trajectories of Blood: Artemisia Gentileschi and Galileo's Parabolic Path," Woman's Art Journal 17, No. 1 (Spring/Summer, 1996), 10-13. Argues that the first depiction of Galileo's discovery of parabolic projectile motion is in the painting of Judith Beheading Holofernes by Gentileschi.

Vitz, Paul C. and Arnold B. Glimcher (1984). Modern Art and Modern Science: The Parallel Analysis of Vision (New York: Praeger, 1984). The authors make it clear at the start that they have no concern with causal connections between art and science, but are only looking for "conceptual parallelisms" regarding matters of "light, depth, color, space, time, form, visual elements, optical effects, randomness, & redundancy" (p.32). They even acknowledge that the term "Zeitgeist" (p.33) summarizes their approach. Nevertheless, the book has much to offer, particularly in suggesting further research. This is because most of the "science" here is really the science of vision and photography where it is more likely that some of the parallelisms may be causally related (so we do not see the old myth of Relativity and Cubism, for example). See Kern (1983) and Shlain (1991).

Waddington, Conrad H. (1969). Behind Appearances: A Study of Relations between Painting and Natural Science in This Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1969). An ambitious and wide-ranging attempt to find a unity to this century.

Walsh, John (1991). "Skies and Reality in Dutch Landscape," in Art in History, History in Art: Studies in 17th Century Dutch Culture, eds. David Freeberg & Jan de Vries (Santa Monica, Ca.: The Getty Center for the History of Art & the Humanities, 1991), pp. 95-117. On the extent to which Dutch artists relied upon conventions and impossible combinations in depicting clouds, despite the realism of their efforts. See Gedzelman (1989, 1991).

Welu, James A. (1975). "Vermeer: His Cartographic Sources," The Art Bulletin 57, No. 4 (1975), 529-47. Shows that the maps on the walls of Vermeer's paintings are real maps.

West, William Kyer (1978). "Problems in the Cultural History of the Ellipse," Technology and Culture 19 (1987), 709--712. On the use of a true ellipse (not just an oval) in architecture.

White, Lynn, Jr. (1947). "Natural Science and Naturalistic Art in the Middle Ages," American Historical Review 52 (1947), 421-35. See Hutchinson (1974) and Pacht (1950).

Whitney, Charles A. (1986). "The Skies of Vincent Van Gogh," Art History 9 (1986), 351-62. Gives some evidence that Van Gogh's skies contained relatively realistic depictions of the star arrangements. Compare this with Boime (1984). See also Gedzelman (1990a) on Van Gogh's clouds.

Winkler, Mary G. and Albert Van Helden (1992). "Representing the Heavens: Galileo and Visual Astronomy," Isis 83 (1992), 195-217. On Galileo's ambivalence regarding the use of visual information in his publications, this article raises important question about visual knowledge in the Scientific Revolution.

---------- (1993). "Johannes Hevelius and the Visual Language of Astronomy," in Renaissance and Revolution: Humanists, Scholars, Craftsmen, and Natural Philosophers in Early Modern Europe, ed. J.V. Field & Frank A.J.L. James (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 97-116. More on the visual knowledge, visual language and communication in the Scientific Revolution.

Wright, C. J. (1980). "The 'Spectre' of Science: The Study of Optical Phenomena and the Romantic Imagination," Journal Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 43 (1980), 186-200. A very good overview of art and science in the early 19th century, and an excellent staring point for further research. See Sheon (1971).

© 1998 David Topper
Revised (2003)
Updated 2 November 2005

I would be grateful, not only for any comments on this bibliography, but also
for the reporting of any errors discovered by the reader.

Updated 2 November 2005

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