Customer Review

65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Science of Visual Art, June 9, 2003
This review is from: Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing (Hardcover)
Some teasers on the back cover:
"Why do Claude Monet's fields of flowers seem to wave in the breeze?"
"What is the secret of Mona Lisa's smile?"
The first two chapters cover some scientific fundamentals- how light and the human vision works. While this is all very scientific, every effort is made to make it understandable, with plenty of full-color diagrams illustrating the concepts. While these 2 chapters are not the easiest to read, they're not rocket science either, and provide a valuable foundation for the rest of the book. Not essential but VERY useful.
Things start to get interesting toward the end of the 2nd chapter, when we start to understand what a red/green colorblind person sees. But the best stuff starts to come in the third chapter ("Luminance and Night Vision"). Plenty of interesting illustrations are provided in this chapter (like red cherries in a blue bowl, where the cherries appear brighter or darker than the bowl depending on the ambient light, or flickering polkadots), and continues until the rest of a book, making it a truly fascinating read.
Oh, and the explanation on Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile is very convincing.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in both visual art and science.
I also recommend it to anyone who's interested in science and how things work- you'll appreciate some art pieces a lot more after reading this book.
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