Cloth $49.95 ISBN: 9781789140545 Published July 2019 For sale in North and South America only


The Art and Science of the Universe

Roberta J. M. Olson and Jay M. Pasachoff


Roberta J. M. Olson and Jay M. Pasachoff

Distributed for Reaktion Books

320 pages | 260 color plates, 20 halftones | 8 3/4 x 11 | © 2019
Cloth $49.95 ISBN: 9781789140545 Published July 2019 For sale in North and South America only

Since time immemorial, the nocturnal skies have mesmerized us, and heavenly bodies have inspired the imaginations of artists, poets, and scientists. Featuring paintings, sculpture, drawings, watercolors, prints, as well as plates from books, celestial diagrams, and astronomical photography, this book showcases the superstars of the firmament and the universe beyond in sumptuous illustrations.

Cosmos: The Art and Science of the Universe charts the human love affair with the heavens in art and astronomy in a story based on sound science and insightful art and cultural history. With thrilling and seductive illustrations, Cosmos recounts in ten lively chapters the fascinating history of the human quest to unlock the mysteries of the universe. Showcasing works of art and new information, interpretations, and amusing anecdotes, this stunning book weaves a rich tapestry of celestial interconnections and our efforts to understand the universe, unveiling the beauty of the cosmos and its compelling story.

Review Quotes
Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
“The night sky is the grandest feature of our environment. It has been shared by all humanity, throughout history, stimulating a sense of wonder and mystery. In this eloquent and beautifully illustrated book, Olson and Pasachoff recount how the cosmos has inspired artists through the ages to create images that have become embedded in our culture.”
Dava Sobel, author of “Longitude,” “Galileo's Daughter,” and “The Glass Universe”
“‘What could be more beautiful than the heavens,’ Copernicus asked, ‘which contain all beautiful things?’ Olson and Pasachoff offer their exuberant, elaborate endorsement of Copernicus’s sentiment in this resplendently illustrated celebration of artworks inspired by starry nights, solar eclipses, and other celestial wonders.”
Dorothea Rockburne, artist
“Filled with awe upon completing Cosmos, I was amazed at the depth of documentation paired with pioneering content. What a remarkable feat of scholarship Olson and Pasachoff have achieved. Whether religiously motivated, scientifically oriented, or just curious, artists from all times have embraced and explored the origins of our universe. Creative higher mathematics is often geometric and therefore visual. This historic study investigates how artists have shaped their cosmic discoveries into provocative images, while it traces the complex search to understand the universe.”
Tom Baione, Harold Boeschenstein Library Director, American Museum of Natural History
“It should not be surprising that astronomical subjects pervade all manner of art through the ages, yet Cosmos amazes. Olson and Pasachoff’s well-researched and lavishly illustrated tome delightfully demonstrates that this iconography is beautifully represented in the arts throughout history.”
E.C. Krupp, Director, Griffith Observatory
“Olson and Pasachoff scour the cosmos of the arts for images of the heavens and show not only what the universe is, but what it means in this marvel of a book. With one surprising variation on a theme after another, every page is a revelation of the visual impact of the sky.”
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