Catalogue


Giants of Delft : Johannes Vermeer and the natural philosophers : the parallel search for knowledge during the age of discovery /
Robert D. Huerta.
imprint
Lewisburg : Bucknell University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c2003.
description
156 p. : ill.
ISBN
0838755380 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Lewisburg : Bucknell University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c2003.
isbn
0838755380 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4844854
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-11-01:
Huerta posits that "a confluence of events occurred at the end of the 1650s that played a large part in Vermeer's transformation from history painter to genre artist with an optical/scientific approach" to art. He surveys the field of optics as it relates to painting and examines natural philosophy, optical investigations by scientists (Antony van Leeuwenhoek and the microscope, Galileo and the telescope, and contributions of Christiaan Huygens and others), and the working methods of artists (Alberti, Durer, Van Eyck, Holbein, Leonardo, and others). Although the personal relationship between Leeuwenhoek and Vermeer is difficult to establish conclusively, their professional interests and social contacts overlap (see John Michael Montias, Vermeer and His Milieu, CH, Jul'89). Italian artists organized the visual world through the window frame (Alberti's veil); the northern artists achieved this organization and brilliant reflective qualities in oil paint with the use of the mirror. Vermeer (and others of his time) seemed to use the camera obscura, a combination of frame and reflection, as an aid in projecting images onto a flat surface. A lively, authoritative, and intelligent interdisciplinary study of how knowledge is processed visually and articulated verbally. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. A. Golahny Lycoming College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, August 2003
Choice, November 2003
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
In this interdisciplinary study drawing from the history of art and the history of science, Robert D. Huerta explores the conceptual intersections found in the work of the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer and the microscopist Antony van Leeuwenhoek as well as the broader relationships existing between painting and science during the seventeenth century. Huerta argues that Vermeer's use of the camera obscura and other instrumental adjuncts parallels Leeuwenhoek's pursuit of the "optical way" and speaks of a profound philosophical connection between these investigators. Analyzing Vermeer's work, Huerta shows that the artist's choice was the result of his very personal reaction to contemporary scientific discoveries and the work of men such as Leeuwenhoek, Christiaan Huygens, and Galileo Galilei. Vermeer's program of informed observation is compared to the methods used by Leeuwenhoek and other scientists to accumulate and analyze instrument-mediated knowledge an approach that caused Vermeer to confront the same issues as natural philosophers regarding the interpretation of unfamiliar images presented by instrumental systems. Robert D. Huerta is working as an independent historian, focusing on the early modern period.
Unpaid Annotation
Explores the conceptual intersections found in the work of the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer and the microscopist Antony van Leeuwenhoek as well as the broader relationships existing between painting and science during the seventeenth century.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. 9
Prefacep. 11
Introductionp. 15
Instrument-Mediated Knowledge in the Arts and Sciences "Instrumental Systems for the Imitation of Nature" and Instrument-Aided Perceptionp. 19
Leeuwenhoek, Galileo, van Eyck, and Vermeer The Fruits of Observation and Techniquep. 30
Galileo, Huygens, Leeuwenhoek, and Vermeer The Intellect as Lensp. 54
Leeuwenhoek, Galileo, Hooke, and Vermeer The Interplay of Text and Imagep. 72
Vermeer and Mapping The Landscape of Realityp. 90
Vermeer, Raphael, and Huygens The Art of Painting and Saturn's Ringsp. 102
Conclusion: Vermeer's Philosophy of Perceptionp. 120
Notesp. 125
Referencesp. 145
Indexp. 151
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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