The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, April 23, 2018

Getty Reveals Scientific Knowledge from the Medieval and Early Modern Period
Volvelles of the Stars, Anonymous artist. Ink on paper. Georg von Peuerbach (German, 1423–1461), "Novae theoricae planetarum". Northern Italy, mid-1500s The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Books illustrating medieval Muslim and Christian medicine, Chinese acupuncture, secret experiments in alchemical laboratories, and French and Persian visions of the cosmos are among the many treasures presented in Migrations of the Mind: Manuscripts from the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection.

On view at the Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center, November 17, 2009–April 18, 2010, Migrations of the Mind displays more than fifty medieval and early modern manuscripts, drawn from the private collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg, illustrating the fusion of scientific knowledge and spiritual insight through the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and the geographic diffusion of such visionary ideas. Publicly displayed together for the first time, this extraordinary collection of beautifully illustrated manuscripts on the history of science and ideas demonstrates the circulation of knowledge around the world and across cultures during the medieval and early modern periods. These manuscripts were produced for caliphs, popes, merchants, and scientists. Copied and illustrated by hand, their content—their ideas and visions—illustrate the human urge for knowledge and creative invention.

Divided into eight thematic sections, the exhibition opens with Intelligent Design. “The division between science and religion is a modern one. In earlier intellectual communities, scientific study was often viewed as a form of spirituality, a vehicle for knowing an unknowable God,” says David Brafman, curator of rare books at the Getty Research Institute, and curator of this exhibition. “The concept that man was made in God’s image extended to the belief that human creativity imitates divine creation. Thus, art imitates nature.” A manuscript in the exhibition that illustrates this concept is Zakariya ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini’s Creatures and Phenomena Marvelous and Strange. This sensationalist, illustrated narrative traces the creation and evolution of celestial and terrestrial life; this medieval account quickly became one of the most popular scientific digests in the Islamic world.

The exhibition also includes topics such as Harmony of the Spheres, which features books perpetuating the classical Greek belief that the movements of the stars, musical harmonies, and geometric structures were expressions of a divine order created in the very fabric of the universe. Found in this section is a lavishly illustrated Indian manuscript, Ragamala, which equates musical harmonies with the weather of the seasons. The global reach of this concept is also articulated by scholars such as Qadi-Zade al-Rumi, in his Commentary on the science of [heavenly] form. This book illustrates the relationship between planetary orbits and the phases of the moon that were discovered by al-Rumi during his tenure as the first director of the observatory at Samarqand in Uzbekistan, an important intellectual outpost on the Silk Road at the threshold between east and west.

Another section, Medicine: Between Heaven and Earth, focuses on the studies of celestial medicine, herbal remedies and human anatomy. Manuscripts in this section include Tashrih al-Mansur, or al-Mansur’s Anatomy, a fifteenth-century manual for Arabic and Persian physicians. The manuscript contains some of the earliest known illustrations of human anatomy in the Islamic world. Al-Mansur’s Anatomy exerted enormous influence among European medical circles, as well. The book shows the color-coding of veins and arteries as blue and red, a visual concept still reflected today by the spiraling blue, red, and white stripes of a traditional barber’s pole, harking back to the days of the barber-surgeon.

Medieval physicians believed that the operation of the body and the soul was tuned to the movement of the heavenly bodies. A Renaissance German manuscript features zodiacal charts indicating the right time of the month for medical procedures, such as bloodletting and bathing. The book’s illustration of the most effective points on the body to tap for bloodletting are remarkably similar to those found in the illustration of a Chinese acupuncture manuscript, also displayed in this section.

Like medical knowledge, mathematics circulated between the eastern and western worlds, the subject of Numbers: the universal language. As early as the ninth century, Islamic scholars translated the work of the classical Greek mathematician Euclid at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. These illustrated commentaries, articulate theorems for picturing a three-dimensional world in two dimensions. During the Italian Renaissance, mathematical works by Islamic mathematicians, such as the fifteenth-century Iranian scholar Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, paved the way for the development of artistic perspective in Renaissance Italy and innovations in architectural engineering.

Although knowledge circulated freely, some manuscripts sought to conceal political and scientific information in codes and ciphers. Michele Zopello’s Book of Letter Simulations is a codebook commissioned for Pope Calixtus III that describes the use of codes and ciphers for transmitting messages across siege lines. Antonio de’ Medici’s Book of Secrets contains medical recipes for drinkable gold as well as the alchemical apparatus that might synthetically produce it. Also included is an Arabic alchemical manuscript claiming to be the last testament from a father to a son about the secrets he has discovered in his laboratory. Though anonymous, the author hints that his identity is Jabir ibn Hayyan, the medieval Iraqi scholar often identified as the father of modern chemistry.

Other sections in the exhibition explore topics as diverse as artillery manuals, guides to animal husbandry, and texts on navigation, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the collection. “Lawrence J. Schoenberg devoted his career to acquiring rare books and manuscripts about the history of science and ideas,” says Dr. Brafman. “His lifelong passion for science and art is reflected in a collection that will radically transform our approach to studying the historical world.”

Getty Center | Migrations of the Mind | Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection | Intelligent Design | Harmony of the Spheres |

Last Week News

October 9, 2009

Museo del Prado Opens New Galleries Devoted to its 19th-Century Collections

Masterpiece from Damien Hirst's Butterfly Series Sold for HK$17.2 Million

Jeff Koons's Giant Rabbit Balloon Arrives in Covent Garden

Abstract Sculptures by Multi-Media Artist Jack Pierson at Cheim & Read

Philadelphia Art Commission Approves New Designs for Barnes Foundation

First Presentation of Eric Aho's Work at DC Moore Gallery

New York City Artist is $250K Winner of Art Competition

Eight Artists on Shortlist for UK's Biggest Contemporary Art Prize

The March Family Offer the Magnificient Cucci Cabinet

San Jose Museum of Art Unveils New Works by Tam Van Tran, Bari Kumar

Throne of Emperor Qianlong Breaks World Auction Record for Any Chinese Furniture

Views of Hamburg: The City in the Painter's Gaze at Hamburger Kunsthalle

First Time Key Work by Damien Hirst is Shown at Tate St. Ives

Indianapolis Museum of Art Receives Nation's Highest Award for Community Service

Soprano Sills' Estate Sells for More than $500K, Botero Sketch Sells for $27,500

'American Qur'an' Blends US Life, Quranic Verses

Exhibition of Superb Collection of Asian and European Decorative Art Opens in Melbourne

Early Works and Hand Crafted Items Highlight September Auction

Montclair Art Museum Announces a New Mural by Dan Fenelon

British Museum to Submit Revised Plans for World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre

October 8, 2009

Exhibition of Cosmic, Utopian and Experimental Works by Georges Vantongerloo

Egypt Announces It Has Cut Ties with France's Louvre Museum

Caravaggio's "Adoration of the Shepherds" to be Restored in Public

Fashion, Celebrity Photographer Irving Penn Dies at 92

Gagosian Presents an Exhibition of Selected Illustrated Spreads by Ed Ruscha

Hirshhorn Museum Opens Exhibition of Pioneering Figure in American Abstract Art

Newseum Recreates Journalist Tim Russert's Office in Exhibit

Stunning Safavid Rug from Late 16th Century Sold for $4.34 Million

Major Retrospective of Hungarian Artist László Moholy-Nagy at the Schirn

Landmark Sheeler Painting Acquired by Amon Carter Museum

Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity Returns to the Getty Villa

Arts of the Samurai Sale at Christie's New York on October 23

Exhibition of the May Queen's Wedding Chest on View at Bismarck Foundation

Miami's Bacardi Buildings Win Historic Protection

Scribe will Write Out the Entire Text of the Torah at San Francisco Museum

An Insightful Look Into an Important Canadian Photographer's 50 Years Career

Aperture Foundation 2009 Benefit and Auction to be Held at The Lighthouse

The Heckscher Museum of Art Appoints Judith A. Jedlicka Interim Executive Director

William Kentridge and Oleg Kudryashov at The Kreeger Museum

Center Stage Exhibition Commemorates New AT&T Performing Arts Center

October 7, 2009

Over 120 Rarely Exhibited Letters by and to Vincent van Gogh on View

Musée du Quai Branly Opens Exhibition of the Legendary Teotihuacan

LACMA Announces First Exhibition Devoted to Renoir's Late Work

Sotheby's Achieves US$4,680,000 for Sanyu's Masterpiece

Exhibition at Pinacotheque de Paris Focuses on the Dutch 17th Century

Large-Scale Wall Installation by the Artist Chitra Ganesh at P.S. 1

Advocacy Program World Monuments Fund Announces 2010 Watch List

Green Day's Sell Out UK Tour Accompanied by Shoreditch Art Exhibition

Salvador Dalí Exhibition Leaves Melbourne a Huge Success

Norton Simon Announces The Familiar Face: Portrait Prints by Rembrandt

Obamas Decorate White House with Modern and Abstract Works of Art

Exhibition Featuring Luo Ping Goes on View at Metropolitan Museum

Modern and Contemporary Sculpture in the Meadows Collection Opens

South Africa's Fantastic Landscapes and People Glow in Bonhams Autumn Sale

Galerie Van den Akker to Exhibit Sixteen Sculptures by Artist Pamela Sunday

Looted Artifacts on Display at Afghan Museum

Sotheby's to Present for the First Time Arab and Iranian Art in Its Main Contemporary Art Auction

Theodor Dalenson and Dimitris Daskalopoulos Elected to Board of Trustees of Guggenheim Foundation

Fountain in New York's Landmark Lincoln Center Restored

I. M. Pei to Receive the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture

Collectors Named as Suspects in California Art Heist

October 6, 2009

Tate Presents Works by Four Artists Shortlisted for Britain's Turner Prize

New Gonzalez-Torres Acquisition Installed on Occasion of Museum's 50th Anniversary

Luxury Brand Louis Vuitton Celebrates Savoir-Faire with Creations by Six Artists

Nefertiti Bust Moved to Berlin's Restored Neues Museum

First Public Viewing of French Drawings from a Celebrated Dutch Collector

Drawings by Pablo Bronstein Featured in Fall Exhibition at the Metropolitan

Over 100 Leading Art Galleries will Participate at London Art Fair 2010

Picasso to Crown Kunsthaus Zürich Exhibition Program in 2010

Entries Now Open for Coveted 100,000 Pound Art Fund Prize

First Comprehensive Museum Exhibition for Jack Goldstein in Germany Since 1985

Special Exhibition Showcases the Work of 11 Contemporary Artists

McDonald's Fast Food Restaurant to Become Mona Lisa's New Neighbor

Paintings Made for The Who by John Davies on View at Idea Generation

National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires Opens Pop Art Exhibition

Heckscher Museum Celebrates Artists Who have Lived in Long Island

Rhode Island School of Design Publishes First Historical Anthology

Sotheby's to Offer Islamic Works of Art in Paris for the First Time

Images of First Cars to Cross the Himalayas into Tibet 102 Years Ago and Secret Photos of Japan from 1898 for Sale

Distinguished Abstract Expressionist Painter Charles Seliger Dies at 83

October 5, 2009

Severin Wunderman's Collection Stands The Test Of Time At Bonhams

The Spirit of Jazz Arrives at the Getty Images Gallery on London

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Opens Modernism as a Ruin: An Archaeology of the Present

Exhibition at the School of Visual Arts Showcases Iconic Advertising and Graphic Design

Comprehensive Survey of German Impressionism to Open at Kunsthalle Bielefeld

BMA Celebrates Edgar Allan Poe's Bicentennial with Spooky Art and Illustrations

Former Director of the Royal Academy of Arts Launches New Company

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at NYU to Show European Artifacts

Installations by Michel Francois to be Shown at S.M.A.K.

Frick Art Museum Opens Exhibition of Photographs by Esther Bubley

Eight San Francisco Artists Respond to Surrealist Masterworks

Poland Street Underground, an Annual Two-Day Event in London During November

Sims Reed Gallery Acquires Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's Estate of Print Editions

National Portrait Gallery Explores New Forms of Portraiture in Exhibition

'Sooners' Exhibit Explores Oklahoma, New Mexico Art

KGB Studio & Gallery Refocuses Time with Exhibition of Photographs by Luis C. Garza

Meijer Gardens Premiere Major U.S. Retrospective Exhibition of British Sculptor Lynn Chadwick

Exhibition Critically Examines the Unusual and Absurd in Art

Celebrate Sustainable Living at the 2009 Danks Street Festival

Access Awareness Honour for Royal Ontario Museum

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Announces David R. Brigham as New President and CEO

October 4, 2009

Exhibition Built on New Research Focuses on Gauguin's Artistic Development

Soviet Art Photography from the 70s and 80s Opens at Rutgers University

Rubin Museum of Art Presents First Public Showing of Jung's Red Book

The Paintings of Charles Burchfield on View at the Hammer Museum

101 Master Drawings from the Kupferstichkabinett at the Kunstmuseum Basel

Seconds that Made History: Photographs by Harald Schmitt on View in Berlin

Richard Avedon's Fashion Photographs Coming to Detroit Institute of Arts

The Finest Scottish Art and Food Come Together at the National Gallery

Stunning and Significant French Drawings on View at the National Gallery of Art

Exhibition of Icons of American Photography Opens in Pittsburgh

Politicians Beware: Oil Photo Exhibit Opens in Washington

Major Exhibition of 18th Century French Drawings on View at the Morgan Library

Ceramic Museum in Barcelona Shows Chinese Porcelain from the Baur Collection

Royal Academy is Showing Michael Kidner's Dreams of the World Order 1960s

Denver Art Museum Joins Forces to Tell the Story of One of Colorado's Favorite Artists

Groundbreaking Exhibition Explores the Unique and Compelling Art of Ancient Hunters

A Town's Love of Indian Artifacts Backfires

Early Brazilian Plane in Wright Brothers Country

Cranbrook Art Museum Launches Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science

Norman Rockwell Museum Presents "I Am a Part of Art! The Artists of Community Access to the Arts"

The Print Club of Cleveland Celebrates the 25th Annual Fine Print Fair & 90th Anniversary of Club

Hunts for Indian Relics Date to 19th Century

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Related Stories

Getty Announces Exhibition that Recreates a Day in the Life of an 18th Century Parisian Townhouse

Getty Reveals Scientific Knowledge from the Medieval and Early Modern Period

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful