Harvard Art Museums Explores Connections Between Renaissance Art and Science

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artwork: Albrecht Dürer - "Rhinoceros", 1515 - Woodcut and letterpress. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Photograph © 2011 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College. On view in "Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe" at the Harvard Art Museums / Arthur M. Sackler Museum from September 6th until December 10th.Hendrick Goltzius "Portrait of Nicolaus Petri van Deventer", 1595 - Engraving - Harvard Art Museums / Fogg Museum. - © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College.


Cambridge, MA.- The Harvard Art Museums are proud to present “Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe”, an exhibition that examines how celebrated Northern Renaissance artists contributed to the scientific discoveries of the 16th century. This exhibition and the accompanying catalogue offer a new perspective on the collaboration between artists and scientists: the project challenges the perception of artists as illustrators in the service of scientists, and examines how their printmaking skills were useful to scientists in their investigations. Artists’ early printed images served as effective research tools, not only functioning as descriptive illustrations, but also operating as active agents in the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Taking into consideration prints, books, maps, and such scientific instruments as sundials, globes, astrolabes, and armillary spheres, this project looks at relationships between their producers and their production, as well as between the objects themselves.