The Western mind has been persistently fascinated by a supposed, yet elusive, point of connection between music and the visual arts. From ancient Greece, we receive the tradition of music taught as a discipline of mathematics, tones on a scale governed by the division of whole numbers. In the Middle Ages, the musical scale was understood as an image of Order - the perfect organization of the universe by the hand of God. Into the twentieth century, philosophers, artists, musicians, mathematicians and architects all alike have proposed various 'concerts for the eye' -- works of art created through the synthesis of color, form and the structure of music. Peter Vergo, a professor of art history and theory at Essex, 'makes direct and detailed comparisons between musical and pictorial practices in the long period covered by this book.' He examines the culture, practice and theory of music and the arts over time, and the result is a 'compelling exploration of ideas that reveals how deeply musical principles influenced the theory and criticism of the visual arts.' Appropriately, this book is beautiful to behold as well - a bit oversized, satisfyingly weighty, the book and jacket design expertly crafted.
An Eighth Day View:
- A work that examines the relationship between music and the visual arts from antiquity to the 18th century; exploring how it was conceived by artists and musicians, by critics and theorists of art
- A fascinating exploration of theoretical as well as physical evidence, in the form of paintings, ceramics and manuscripts, to reveal how deeply musical ideas influenced theory and criticism of the visual arts
- A rich variety of subject matter, ranging from the ancient mathematician Pythagoras to the 16th-century architect Palladio and the 17th-century painter Poussin
- Written in a lucid and elegant style that brings the subject to life, by an author whose expertise and knowledge are exceptionally wide-ranging