Visualizations: The Nature Book of Art and Science
Martin Kemp's provocative essays on the interplay between art and science have been entertaining readers of Nature, the world's leading journal for the announcement of scientific discoveries, since 1997. These short, illustrated, highly regarded essays generally focus on one visual image from art or science and provide an evocative and erudite investigation into shared motifs in the two disciplines. Gathered together here with a delightfully rich introduction by the author, the essays take our understanding to an exciting new level as they transgress the traditional boundaries between art and science. The images under consideration cover Western art from the Renaissance to the present day, and the science ranges from abstract mathematics to the illustrative modes of natural history and medicine. Kemp skillfully discusses the Mona Lisa as well as horror films, Galileo's moon drawings and diagrams in modern physics, Renaissance pottery and logos on trucks, the invention of perspective, and contemporary masterpieces. Rather than charting the mutual influence of art and science upon each other, these essays look to the deeper structures that find expression in art and science; they reveal the "structural intuitions" shared by artists and scientists when confronting the world. This volume contains all the pieces published in Nature under the banners of "Art and Science" and "Science and Image," together with some from Kemp's recent "Science and Culture" series. The essays are presented thematically rather than chronologically, arranged to stimulate critical ideas about the nature of the image at the intersection of art and science, now and in the past.