The Art of Science and The Science of Art
11 January 2022 - 15 March 2022
Tuesdays 10:45 - 12:45
£63 – £520
Coffee, tea and biscuits are included on arrival and during half-time break
This series of lectures will look at art in relation to science. Although the two subjects are often pitted against each other, on account of their apparent subjectivity and objectivity, they are joined at the hip. We will explain how the two stories – both epic in their own way – developed together.
“I had no idea when I signed up for this course that Andrew’s lectures would be so multi-faceted and would inform and guide us across the vast sweep of human history - in a digestible way!”
Art and Botany – 11 Jan 2022
How naturalism in painting initiated an interest in the natural world and how the development of museum classification systems originated with plants. Who painted plants, and why? From medieval herbals to art made of grass.
Art and Zoology – 18 Jan 2022
In the Middle Ages, animals were understood in relation to their religious significance and were discussed in bestiaries. In the Renaissance, people took a more technical approach to the animal kingdom. With regard to Noah’s Ark, for instance, was there not a danger that the lions might eat the zebras? This lecture addresses changing attitudes towards animals and representation.
Art and Anatomy – 25 Jan 2022
Throughout the Middle Ages, medicine was subject to the influence of the Greek physician Galen. During the Renaissance, the discipline became more ‘realistic’ and medics began to look at the body without recourse to traditional authorities. One of the first draughtsmen to look seriously at the human body was a student of Titian. Leonardo was another. Here we will address the relationship between the medical and artistic potential of the body.
Art and Astrology – 1 Feb 2022
How did artists represent the heavens, and how did the use of visualisation help people to understand them? And, while looking upwards, let’s also talk about the weather. How important was the science of meteorology for landscape painters throughout the ages?
Art and Music – 8 Feb 2022
The visual arts have been compared to music for centuries, partly due to the notion of harmonious ‘proportions’, and partly due to the notion of ‘tone’. This lecture will look at the long-standing relationship between visual and oral art.
Art and Optics – 15 Feb 2022
Art of course revolves around visual experience but to what extent does the technology of optics contribute to the practice and experience? This aspect of the subject is often ignored. To what extent do changing understandings of ‘seeing’ influence the kind of art that is produced?
Art and Psychology 1 – 22 Feb 2022
What is the relationship between creativity and human psychology? This is the first of three lectures which focuses on the way people have understood ‘artistic experience’ over the years – covering antique ‘inspiration’, medieval notions of vision, revelation and tradition, and the origin of the notion of artistic genius.
Art and Psychology 2 – 1 Mar 2022
Here we will develop on the previous session, addressing the full flowering of the notion of artistic genius in the 18th and 19th centuries, encountering the experimental sciences of ‘mesmerism’ and ‘phrenology’ on the way.
Art and Psychology 3 – 8 Mar 2022
The effect of psychology on art in the late 19th and early 20th century will be discussed, drawing on Freudian resources and the newly developed interest in so-called ‘outsider’ art.
Art and Technology – 15 Mar 2022
To what extent has art been determined by the development of technology, from the development of blast furnaces in the Middle Ages, to perspective during the Renaissance years, colour printing in the 19th century and computers in our own age?