Catalogue


Painting the heavens : art and science in the age of Galileo /
Eileen Reeves.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1997.
description
x, 310 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.)
ISBN
0691043981 (cl : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1997.
isbn
0691043981 (cl : alk. paper)
catalogue key
1369359
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Eileen Reeves is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. She specializes in scientific literature of the early modern period.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-01:
More than 40 years ago Erwin Panofsky alerted both art and science historians to the painting of the Virgin on the dome of Santa Maria Maggiore by Lodovico Cigoli, a friend of Galileo, who depicted the moon as it was described by Galileo after his telescopic observations: namely, "uneven, rough, and full of cavities and prominences," rather than smooth and near perfect as conventional iconography required. Using Cigoli's picture and six others (two by Rubens and Velazquez) as focal points, and Galileo as the central figure, Reeves reconstructs the context of the relationship between art and science in the early 17th century--an interaction that went both ways (e.g., the visual surface of the moon was often compared to the surface of a painting). Other scientific matters that involved Galileo and informed art were the aurora borealis, the new star of 1604, and especially earthshine--the reflection of sunlight from the earth back to the moon. Reeves's extensive and detailed research reveals how much scientific matters were intertwined with religious beliefs, further illuminating the climate of Galileo's polemics. This is a fascinating and important book for scholars and advanced students. Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty. D. Topper; University of Winnipeg
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1998
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Eileen Reeves examines how the relationship between science and art and their fomentation of knowledge and authority during the 17th century in Europe, were intimately linked to the political and theological tensions of the day.
Unpaid Annotation
Painting the Heavens is a joy to read. It is beautifully written, with clarity, graceful style, and subtle wit. It will be a revelation to historians of science and art, and should also be of great interest to students of Italian cultural history and the Counter Reformation.DLNoel M. Swerdlow, The University of Chicago The remarkable astronomical discoveries made by Galileo with the new telescope in 1609DS10 led to his famous disputes with philosophers and religious authorities, most of whom found their doctrines threatened by his evidence for Copernicus's heliocentric universe. In this book, Eileen Reeves brings an art historical perspective to this story as she explores the impact of Galileo's heavenly observations on painters of the early seventeenth century. Many seventeenth-century painters turned to astronomical pastimes and to the depiction of new discoveries in their work, yet some of these findings imposed controversial changes in their use of religious iconography. For example, Galileo's discovery of the moon's rough topography and the reasons behind its secondary light meant rethinking the imagery surrounding the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception, which had long been represented in paintings by the appearance of a smooth, incandescent moon. By examining a group of paintings by early modern artists all interested in Galileo's evidence for a Copernican system, Reeves not only traces the influence of science on painting in terms of optics and content, but also reveals the painters in a conflict between artistic depiction and dogmatic representation. Reeves offers a close analysis of seven works by Lodovico Cigoli, Peter Paul Rubens, Francisco Pacheco, and Diego Velazquez. She places these artists at the center of the astronomical debate, showing that both before and after the invention of the telescope, the proper evaluation of phenomena such as moon spots and the aurora borealis was commonly considered the province of the painter. Because these scientific hypotheses were complicated by their connection to Catholic doctrine, Reeves examines how the relationship between science and art, and their mutual production of knowledge and authority, must themselves be seen in a broader context of theological and political struggle.
Unpaid Annotation
The remarkable astronomical discoveries made by Galileo with the new telescope in 1609-10 led to his famous disputes with philosophers and religious authorities, most of whom found their doctrines threatened by his evidence for Copernicus's heliocentric universe. In this book, Eileen Reeves brings an art historical perspective to this story as she explores the impact of Galileo's heavenly observations on painters of the early seventeenth century. By examining a group of paintings by early modern artists interested in Galileo's evidence for a Copernican system, Reeves explores the relationship between science and art in the broader context of theological and political struggle.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: The Artist and the Astronomerp. 3
1599-1602: First Reflections on the Moon's Secondary Lightp. 23
1604-1605: Neostoicism and the New Starp. 57
1605-1607: Mutual Illuminationp. 91
1610-1612: In the Shadow of the Moonp. 138
1614-1621: The Buen Pintor of Sevillep. 184
Notesp. 227
Bibliographyp. 283
Indexp. 305
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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