Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing (Hardback)Laura J. Snyder (author)
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By the early 17th century the Scientific Revolution was well under way. Philosophers and scientists were throwing off the yoke of ancient authority to peer at nature and the cosmos through microscopes and telescopes.
In October 1632, in the small town of Delft in the Dutch Republic, two geniuses were born who would bring about a seismic shift in the idea of what it meant to see the world. One was Johannes Vermeer, whose experiments with lenses and a camera obscura taught him how we see under different conditions of light and helped him create the most luminous works of art ever beheld. The other was Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, whose work with microscopes revealed a previously unimagined realm of minuscule creatures.
By intertwining the biographies of these two men, Laura Snyder tells the story of a historical moment in both art and science that revolutionized how we see the world today.
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Number of pages: 576
Weight: 724 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 38 mm
'This is much more than a group biography - it is a portrait of an age of insatiable intellectual curiosity ... The great pleasure of the book is how Snyder makes the science clear to the layman' Daily Mail.
'Engaging and richly detailed interdisciplinary history' Wall Street Journal.
'One of those engaging books that make you smarter without making you suffer ... This poetic, inclusive approach to popular science writing makes Eye of the Beholder an unfailing pleasure to read' The Daily Beast.
'So suffused with excitement it feels like a thriller ... Snyder has her own way of seeing into history. She looks back into its murky waters and makes lost connections visible' The Herald.
'Snyder beautifully evokes the ambience of late 17th-century Delft ... She is revelatory about Vermeer's aims and methods' Philip Ball, Nature.
'Irresistible ... Spectacular ... [Snyder] ingeniously explores the minutiae of her subjects' lives to reveal sweeping changes in how their world was understood - ones that still resonate today' New Scientist.
'Snyder has a natural wit that emerges with the narrative' Catholic Herald.
'The great pleasure of this book is how Snyder makes the science clear to the layman' Irish Daily Mail.
'The reciprocal relationship between science and art in the seventeenth century might well be called "the reinvention of seeing". It is in this absorbing way that Snyder takes us back through time, beyond the reflections and shadows, to the very heart of Vermeer's art' Independent.
'Engaging ... a spirited account of these developments and of their conceptual as well as their practical implications. She is adept at picturing the culture in which her protagonists grew up. She has a relish for detail' London Review of Books.
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