Saturday, September 20, 2008

Science, Humanism, and Artistic Production in 15th Century Italy

Thanks to Leonardo Da Vinci’s study of plants, physical structure and features of mountains and rivers, mapmaking, physical and biological characteristics of animals, the human body, and science of nonliving things, he contributed greatly to artistic production. His study of light gave him an understanding of artistic perspective when painting by choosing proper light and color. He contributed to information specifically in his study of the way living things function and human behavior. He was skilled at his artistic use of light and shade in his paintings and drawings. He was able to produce an emotional tone and aesthetic quality in his work. Through his investigative work he drew The Fetus and Lining of the Uterus. Analysis of physical structure such as this contributed to how important this was to learn from these scientific illustrations, because they did not have the technology we do today.

The process of becoming more developed during the 15th century was caused by the spread of secular cultural and intellectual movements as a result of the rediscovery of the arts and philosophy of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Some other contributing facts were the concerns with government and financial changes. The wealthy put emphasis on learning about ancient history during the period of time which the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations flourished. Thanks to the invention of movable type by Johannes Gutenberg, books were able to be printed on this press instead of handwritten.

Yes, there is a relationship today between science and humanism in art. Dr. Gideon Polya used geometry and represented molecular aspects resembling DNA. Due to modern technology such as the microscope and scientific images of the human mind, he represented neurons which are connectors in our brains thus the title in the painting above “Deep Mind”.

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