Painting, Science, and the Perception of Coloured Shadows ‘The Most Beautiful Blue’, Paul Smith Marilena Pateraki
Many artists and scientists – including Buffon, Goethe, and Philipp Otto Runge – who observed the vividly coloured shadows that appear outdoors around dawn and dusk, or indoors when a candle burns under waning daylight, chose to describe their colours as ‘beautiful’.
Paul Smith explains what makes these ephemeral effects worthy of such appreciation – or how depictions of coloured shadows have genuine aesthetic and epistemological significance. This multidisciplinary book synthesises methodologies drawn from art history (close pictorial analysis), psychology and neuroscience (theories of colour constancy), history of science (the changing paradigms used to explain coloured shadows), and philosophy (theories of perception and aesthetic value drawn from Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty).
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