These days are sad for our universe, because we have lost one of the greatest minds of the modern world: the physicist – even though defining him with with just one qualification is quite a limitation – Stephen Hawking.
You’re probably wondering why we are talking about Stephen Hawking in a blog that usually focuses on art – but, if you think about, they are very similar in the fact that they both try to interpret the things around us.
The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. (S. Hawking)
Scientific illustrations: when science needs art
Have you ever seen an old textbook about science? Leaves, birds, anatomy: every single illustration is a little work of art!
Even Jonathan Gilmore, Ph.D. at Yale, asserted: “When I look at those 17th-century images, I don’t hesitate to think of them as artworks,” and “[Hooke is] not just showing you these things as they looked under the microscope—he’s saying something about how marvelous or wondrous they are. … There’s no reason not to call that art.”
The DNA microarray: when science is art
The University of Yale has organized ArtPlace, a project that collected a series of scientific images made by local artists: among these works, there were reproductions or pictures taken only during scientific studies. Some of the cell combinations can even remind of Pointillist paintings, forming flowers and bucolic landscapes!
Leonardo the artist, Leonardo the scientist
Understanding how art and science can coexist is much simpler when we think of one of the most important scientist-artists that the world has ever known: Leonardo Da Vinci! With his incredible paintings – and innovative painting techniques – and his scientific theories and discoveries (just think of the fact that he designed the first prototypes of airplanes!), do we consider him more of a scientist or an artist? Who can really tell?
David Hockney and his passion for Stephen Hawking
With his participation to hundreds of TV programs and shows, Stephen Hawking has met the interest of the widest public, which is rare for a man whose main interest is as “niche” as physics.
Even a wide-known artist like David Hockney (and a huge series of other artists) was so passionate about his work that he decided to depict him in a series of portraits!