ASTRONOMERS AS SKETCHERS AND PAINTERS: THE EYE – THE HAND – THE UNDERSTANDING1

Dieter B. Herrmann

Abstract


Today we are accustomed to seeing the objects of the universe in magnificent digital pictures vividly before our eyes. But before the invention of photography, the art of painting and drawing played an important role in scientific research. Those who were powerful astronomers of this art had the advantage. This article substantiates this thesis by means of selected examples. The drawings and the related discoveries of Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), Johannes Hevelius (1611–1687), Tobias Mayer (1723–1762), Johann Heinrich Mädler (1794–1874), Julius Schmidt (1825–1884), Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835–1910), Eugenios Antoniadi (1870–1944), William Parsons alias Lord Rosse (1800–1867), Ernst Wilhelm Leberecht Tempel (1821–1889), Etienne Trouvelot (1827–1895) and Walter Löbering (1895–1969) and showed their most important drawn observation documents. It can be seen that thanks to their art and the associated highly developed ability to perceive it, astronomers' drawings have made astounding discoveries that others have been denied. Finally, some thoughts on the role of drawn or painted astronomical motifs in the present are developed.

Keywords


astronomy; painters; photography; Galileo Galilei; Johannes Hevelius; Tobias Mayer; Johann Heinrich Mädler; Julius Schmidt; Giovanni Schiaparelli; Eugenios Antoniadi; Lord Rosse; Ernst Wilhelm Tempel; Etienne Trouvelot; Walter Löbering

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20903/csnmbs.masa.2018.39.1.115

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