Author(s): Michael F. Marmor
This title presents a celebration of vision, of art and of the relationship between the two. Artists see the world in physical terms as we all do. However, they may be more perceptive than most in interpreting the complexity of how and what they see. In this fascinating juxtaposition of science and art history, ophthalmologists Michael Marmor and James G. Ravin examine the role of vision and eye disease in art. They focus on the eye, where the process of vision originates and investigate how aspects of vision have inspired - and confounded - many of the world's most famous artists. Why do Georges Seurat's paintings appear to shimmer? How come the eyes in certain portraits seem to follow you around the room? Are the broad brushstrokes in Monet's Water Lilies due to cataracts? Could van Gogh's magnificent yellows be a result of drugs? How does eye disease affect the artistic process? Or does it at all? "The Artist's Eyes" considers these questions and more. It is a testament to the triumph of artistic talent over human vulnerability and a tribute to the paintings that define eras, the artists who made them and the eyes through which all of us experience art.
Michael F. Marmor is one of today's leading experts in retinal disease and retinal physiology and the author of more than 150 scientific papers. He is Professor and former Chair of Ophthalmology in the Stanford University School of Medicine and has taught "The Eye and Implications of Vision" in the Stanford undergraduate Program in Human Biology. James G. Ravin has studied the effects of illness on artists since he attended the University of Michigan Medical School. His investigations have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and have been featured on TV other national media. Dr. Ravin's special interest is in nineteenth-century European painting.