Abstract

Pictures can have a dual nature, offering to viewers perceptual cues both for depth and for the flatness of the picture surface. This is a familiar theme in painting for the art market, but perhaps it has been even more systematically explored in images made in scientific work. The author contrasts exact recording of three-dimensional shape in objects, seen in many representational, perspective pictures for science, with planar abstract patterns, which emerged from experiments on such phenomena as light, magnetism and electricity. The contrast between these two types of scientific imagery, representational and abstract, conceals connections between them, some of which the author discusses.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 31-39
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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