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

Posted: March 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

From my IT3 class, as mentioned in today’s session. Compare and contrast what I called the sumptuousness of Galileo’s science with the starkness of Descartes’. It’s precisely the sensuality and eros Descartes liquidated from the investigation of nature that the Surrealists deliberately sought to restore, often (as today’s film demonstrated) through sudden and shocking means.

“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.

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