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Light, color and vision
Color interactions: Simultaneous contrast
Peripheral vision
Luminance and equiluminance

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    The Science of Vision and the Emergence of Art

  
  



By 1800, two revolutions, the French and the American, had brought the established world order to an end. Detail of "Liberty Leading the People," Delacroix, Eugene, 1830.

Modern art emerged in the 19th century, mostly in France. During the same period, scientists began to explore how we see. The new understanding of vision influenced the development of art and our understanding of it. Vision and art is the theme of this exhibit. It focuses particularly on color.

With these revolutions, no longer did artists paint subjects from mythology or the Bible: by 1850, they were painting the common man (and, by 1910, abstract subjects). Both subject and style changed. In Neoclassicism, the subject was painted as it was; in Impressionism, it was painted as it seemed to the artist. Impressionism emphasized the viewing of the individual artist and hence vision.



"Torso (Buste de Femme)," Renoir, Pierre-Auguste, c. 1873-75

 



"The Models (large version)," Seurat, Georges, 1887-88

  



"Musical Instruments," Picasso, Pablo, 1912

Simultaneously, the Industrial Revolution brought great changes. New pigments were synthesized, augmenting the artistís palette. Science developed enormously and this included the science of light, color and vision. A scientific world view appeared seeking to describe experience, including art, in scientific terms.

Simultaneously, the Industrial Revolution brought great changes. New pigments were synthesized, augmenting the artistís palette. Science developed enormously and this included the science of light, color and vision. A scientific world view appeared seeking to describe experience, including art, in scientific terms.

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