Cosmology as Poetry ~ Galileo, de Latour, Gesualdo, Monteverdi

Posted: May 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

“GALILEO: I won’t compromise my esthetic.” –Bertold Brecht

“Nigra sum sed formosa.” (dazzled by darkness)



• Optical Distortions and Magnifications
• Saturated Color
• Extremes of Contouring, Modeling and Texture
• Intense Directional Light Source
• Hyperbolic Ascents and Abysses of Consciousness and Sensation
• Sudden Reversals of Value



What do you notice when we place Galileo’s sepia washes alongside Georges de Latour‘s paintings of St. Joseph and the boy Jesus or the angel Gabriel? Can you see the resemblance between the aspects of the Moon and the heads of the painted figures? In both Galileo’s cosmos and Latour’s visual world, a single internal light source creates deep shadows and dazzling highlights, and reveals a variety of curious surface irregularities.

  1. jfranchina says:

    It’s amazing that although we cannot feel the texture of the moon (or the lemon) and experience it like the blind man feeling with his hands or walking sticks, the mind can simulate almost the exact sensation of touch based off of sight alone. The lemon in this video shows a small but detailed texture we can feel with only light.

    • When we read Diderot we will get into a more detailed discussion of the similarities and difference between sight and touch, and broader implications of each. Stand by for that.

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