- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books; unknown edition (March 7, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465018602
- ISBN-13: 978-0465018604
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty That Causes Havoc Paperback – March 5, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Intellectual historians widely acknowledge that Einstein's theory of relativity and Picasso's cubist paintings launched modernity. Although the physicist and painter never met, their creative geniuses developed simultaneously under similar social circumstances and during an unrivaled period of cultural ferment. Moreover, Miller, professor of history and philosophy of science at University College London, contends, both Einstein and Picasso were deeply influenced by mathematician and philosopher Henri Poincar's treatise on non-Euclidean geometry, La Science et l'hypothse. Both Einstein and Picasso borrowed from Poincar the idea of a temporal and spatial dimension beyond our own that could be captured in art and physics. Miller plunders previously unavailable sources as he narrates the parallel biographies of Einstein and Picasso. He traces in great detail the influences of photography, geometry and X-ray technology on Picasso's art as well as the influence of aesthetic theory on Einstein's science. Through close readings of the theory of relativity and Picasso's groundbreaking Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Miller argues that these two men were working on the same problem: "how to represent space and time at just the moment in history when it became apparent that these entities are not what we intuitively perceive them to be." In the 21st century, it is old news that artists and scientists struggle with the best ways to represent space and time. But Miller's eloquent and wide-ranging interdisciplinary history of ideas returns us to the beginning of the 20th century when two brilliant minds challenged reigning understandings of space and time and fashioned revolutionary models that imbue contemporary culture's understandings of itself and the physical world. (Apr.)Forecast: There is probably not a huge readership for this title, but it will sell well to students of science, art and the history of ideas. The author will make appearances in Chicago and Cambridge, Mass., in late March, and such engagements should help him reach his audience
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
During the span of a few years shortly after the start of the 20th century, roughly from 1904 to 1908, two quiet revolutions in how we perceive the world were underway. In Switzerland, Einstein was working on the nature of time and space. In Paris, Picasso tackled a similar problem in the creation of the seminal Cubist work "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" (for a detailed history of this painting, see William Rubin and others' Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, LJ 2/1/95). Miller (history and philosophy of science, University Coll., London) examines the two men and the revolutions they initiated. Pulling together the lives of the physicist and the painter, as well as the band of friends, colleagues, influences, and lovers that surrounded them at that time. Miller creates a compelling argument for the confluence of aesthetics and science. Illustrated with scientific diagrams as well as work by Picasso and others, this is recommended for larger collections on modern art in public libraries and for most general academic collections. Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
Consider that Picasso's "misplaced" body parts as distortion of space-time: Relativity expressed in paint.
I came to this book via interest in Picasso, and found my understanding of cubism, and its relation to the science of the day, were well rewarded by reading this book.
I must assume no other book on Picasso has such a wealth of Picasso biographical detail as it relates to the field of science - the artists close to Picasso were indeed attempting to define in art terms what they knew were the currents of early 20th Century European scientific development, and how that science related to their visual multi-dimensional theories.
The book is written by a true authority in the field, and a fine writer of deep insight in associating artistic and scientific impulse. Quotes and ideas shine thoughout. And I haven't even talked about Einstein! Or how they relate in quite revealing ways. That's what Doc. Miller has done in this singular book.
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