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Van gogh e il cielo1

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Le slide della conferenza tenuta al Liceo Scientifico Statale "Galilei" di Lamezia Terma il 3 maggio 2014. L'interesse di Van Gogh per la rappresentazione corretta dei corpi celesti (e della Galassia Vortice M51 ne "La notte stellata") come studio di caso del legame che esiste tra arte e scienza.

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Van gogh e il cielo1

  1. 1. Van Gogh e il cielo Tra Astronomia e Arte
  2. 2. 2 L’arte moltiplica il mondo “Soltanto grazie all'arte, anziché vedere un solo mondo, il nostro, lo vediamo moltiplicarsi, e quanti più sono gli artisti originali, tanti più mondi abbiamo a disposizione, diversi gli uni dagli altri più di quelli che girano nell'infinito, e che, molti secoli dopo che si è estinto il focolare da cui emanavano, si chiamassero Rembrandt o Vermeer, ci inviano ancora il loro caratteristico raggio di luce”. Marcel Proust, Il tempo ritrovato, 1927
  3. 3. 3 L'opera d'arte parla in modo diverso a ciascuno di noi In realtà, ogni lettore, quando legge, è il lettore di se stesso. L'opera dello scrittore è solo una specie di strumento ottico offerto al lettore per consentirgli di discernere ciò che forse, senza quel libro, non avrebbe potuto intravedere in se stesso. Marcel Proust, Il tempo ritrovato, 1927
  4. 4. 4 Leggere un’opera d’arte Diversi approcci: • iconografico: il come e il cosa (descrizione, stile, tecnica, ecc.) > Geografia • iconologico: il perché (genesi, contesto, diffusione, ricezione, ecc.) > Geologia • scientifico: (materiali, attribuzione, restauro, datazione, ecc.)
  5. 5. 5 Vincent Van Gogh (1853- 1890) Biografia • Il fratello Theo • I luoghi: L’Aja, Bruxelles, Londra, Neunen, Anversa, Parigi, Arles (Gauguin), Saint-Rémy-de- Provence, Auvers-sur-Oise • Precarietà • Dio e gli ultimi • Insuccesso • Malattia mentale (la mano, l’orecchio, il ricovero) – L’alcool
  6. 6. 6 L'arte • I colori, le pennellate • Gli ultimi (I mangiatori di patate, la ronda dei carcerati) • Ritratti • Autoritratti • Paesaggi agresti – Covoni, campi di grano • interni • Vecchi edifici • Fiori - Girasoli • Cipressi • Il cielo, le stelle
  7. 7. 7 Ogni opera d’arte è figlia del suo tempo Ogni opera d’arte è figlia del suo tempo, e spesso è madre dei nostri sentimenti […] Ogni nuova bellezza potrebbe sembrare deforme: ciò che in essa non ha l’aspetto del passato è brutto. Vassily Kandinsky
  8. 8. 8 Bayeux - Cometa di Halley Particolare dell'arazzo di Bayeux che mostra la comparsa della cometa di Halley nell'aprile del 1066.
  9. 9. 9 La "cometa" di Giotto Giotto: Adorazione dei Magi, nella Cappella degli Scrovegni a Padova (1301-03). In alto un corpo celeste che è stato identificato con la Cometa di Halley, ma esistono dubbi in proposito.
  10. 10. 10 L'Orsa Maggiore Vincent Van Gogh: Notte stellata sul Rodano - Parigi: Museo d'Orsay. Al centro del cielo l'Orsa Maggiore. Settembre 1888
  11. 11. 11 Interpretazione «Sto lavorando [...] a uno studio del Rodano, della città illuminata dai lampioni a gas riflessi nel fiume blu. In alto il cielo stellato con il Gran Carro, un luccichìo di rosa e verde sul campo blu cobalto del cielo stellato, laddove le luci della città e i suoi crudeli riflessi sono oro rosso e verde bronzeo...»
  12. 12. 12 L'Acquario Vincent van Gogh: Esterno del caffè di notte, ad Arles ( tarda estate 1888) - Otterlo: Kröller- Müller Museum. Nel cielo è rappresentata la costellazione dell'Acquario.
  13. 13. 13 La posizione della Luna Paesaggio con covoni e luna nascente (Kröller- Müller Museum, Otterlo) è stato datato con precisione al 13 luglio 1889, alle 21:08, sulla base della posizione della luna piena rispetto alle colline sullo sfondo e della presenza dei covoni, che hanno permesso di escludere l’altra data possibile del 16 maggio.
  14. 14. 14 Interpretazione
  15. 15. 15 La Luna, Mercurio e Venere Strada con cipressi e cielo stellato, 1890 (Kröller- Müller Museum, Otterlo) Nel cielo si staglia un cipresso: sulla sinistra compaiono due punti luminosi, mentre la Luna compare sulla destra. I due corpi celesti sono Mercurio e Venere, in congiunzione tra le 19 e le 20 del 20 aprile 1890.
  16. 16. 16 Interpretazione
  17. 17. 17 Venere sulla casa bianca La casa bianca di notte (Hermitage, San Pietroburgo) realizzato ad Auvers–sur– Oise. Il corpo celeste che domina l'edificio è stato identificato con Venere. L'opera è stata datata al 16 giugno 1890, cioé solo 40 giorni prima che il grande pittore si togliesse la vita.
  18. 18. 18 «…una casa bianca nella vegetazione con una stella nel cielo notturno e una luce arancione sulle finestre [...] e una nota di tetro rosa.» Interpretazione
  19. 19. 19 Notte stellata
  20. 20. 20 Notte stellata - 2 Notte stellata (Museum of Modern Art, New York), dipinto a Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. La data di realizzazione di quest’opera è stata desunta dalla lettera al fratello Theo del 2 giugno 1889, in cui l'artista vi fa esplicito riferimento: "(...) Questa mattina dalla mia finestra ho guardato a lungo la campagna prima del sorgere del Sole, e non c'era che la stella del mattino, che sembrava molto grande. (...)"
  21. 21. 21 Notte stellata - 3 La Luna è rappresentata al primo quarto: una data plausibile sembra essere il 23 maggio, quando le posizioni della Luna e delle stelle corrispondevano a quelle dipinte e Venere (“la stella del mattino”) era al massimo di luminosità ed era osservabile poco prima dell'alba.
  22. 22. 22 La Galassia Vortice
  23. 23. 23 La Galassia Vortice - 2 Galassia Vortice, M51. L’oggetto celeste fu scoperto nel 1773 da Charles Messier e diventò il n. 51 del grande catalogo che l’astronomo francese stava compilando. In realà si tratta di un sistema formato da una coppia di galassie che formano una spirale. La Galassia M51 fu osservata nel 1845 anche da William Parsons, conte di Rosse, con il grande telescopio di 182 cm di diametro che aveva istallato a Birr Castle, in Irlanda. Egli ne fece alcuni accurati disegni, poi riprodotti nel 1879 dal'astronomo francese Camille Flammarion in L'astronomie populaire, un libro di grande successo destinato a esercitare una vasta influenza sull’opinione pubblica, che era conosciuto anche da Van Gogh.
  24. 24. 24 La Galassia Vortice vista da Hubble (2005)
  25. 25. 25 Meccanica celeste La meccanica celeste studia il moto dei corpi celesti da punto di vista fisico-matematico. • 1687 - Legge di gravitazione universale di Isaac Newton: gli oggetti del cielo e gli oggetti della terra obbediscono alle stesse leggi fisiche. • 1774 - Catalogo di Charles Messier, comprende per la prima volta oggetti non stellari (nebulose, galassie). • 1781 - William Herschel scopre Urano grazie a un telescopio. • 1838 - Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel misura per primo la parallasse e la distanza di un'altra stella. • 1846 - Galle e d'Arrest scoprono Nettuno tramite calcoli matematici: oscillazioni nell'orbita di Urano > un pianeta esterno sconosciuto ne perturbava l'orbita.
  26. 26. 26 Divulgazione scientifica e spirito dell'Illuminismo • Tradizione dell’Enciclopedia • Nuovo prestigio dell’intellettuale scientifico (Napoleone) • Necessità dell’istruzione pubblica Condorcet: "Tutti gli errori di governo e sociali si basano su errori filosofici i quali, a loro volta, derivano da errori nelle scienze naturali". "... In generale qualsiasi autorità di qualsiasi natura in qualunque modo acquisita e da chiunque posseduta diventa un nemico naturale dell'istruzione." • Vittoria della ragione sulla metafisica e sulla superstizione • Progressi nella chimica, nella meccanica, nell’elettricità, nella “meccanica celeste” e nella matematica. • Diffusione di libri e riviste di divulgazione “popolari”.
  27. 27. 27 Conclusioni • Ogni opera d'arte è figlia del suo tempo, anche dal punto di vista scientifico; • L'osservazione degli oggetti celesti fu migliorata dai progressi scientifici e da quelli tecnologici (telescopi a riflessione, ottiche migliori); • Nella seconda metà dell'Ottocento ebbe grande impulso la divulgazione scientifica a livello popolare; • Grazie a queste novità troviamo per la prima volta una galassia spirale in un'opera d'arte.
  28. 28. 28

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