Fundación Focus
Focus Foundation Baroque School

Focus Foundation Baroque School

Science, Nature and Art in the Time of the Baroque. 9 – 11 November 2015

Science, Nature and Art in the Time of the Baroque

Conferences videos

Inaugural Conference:
Poussin’s Reflections on Man, Nature and Art

Keith Christiansen

Jesuits in Baroque culture: art, education, science
Guillermo Rodríguez Izquierdo SJ.

Natural history and visual culture in the seventeenth century
José Ramón Marcaida

Science, the sciences and Baroque
Javier Viar

Symbolic Baroque Ornithology: birds in books of emblems and prints of the 17th century
José Julio García Arranz

17th century Italy: the breeze through the leaves
Manuela Mena

Still life: the vanities in the work of Valdés Leal
Enrique Valdivieso

Velázquez: Science and fiction
Miguel Hermoso

Round table
About landscape

Organ concert leaded by José Enrique Ayarra Jarne


With the birth of the “new science” in the wake of Bacon, the theories on the world and nature ceased being essentially poetic –as they were considered in the long inherited mediaeval tradition– and began to be felt as essentially scientific.

Modern science and the development of the artistic culture of the Baroque came hand in hand and became the cornerstones of the history of European culture. In this modern science, the discovery of the foundations of nature led to questions on the relationship between people and the natural environment, which went beyond living nature to open up new avenues to the theories of light and colour, space and time, as expressed in the creative brilliance of Velázquez in the gardens of Villa Medicis.

The “vision” of nature took on a variety of projections through the art of the Baroque. The conception of the natural world under the impetus of the 17th and 18th century scientists became increasingly removed from the previous allegories and symbolism. The landscape as an expressive medium emerged in pure form as man interacted with nature.

Recalling among others, André Mollet in his treatise Le Jardin de Plaisir (1651), from the gardens of delights of the 16th century to the gardens of love of the 17th century, natural history experienced a qualitative leap in the representation of nature as art and in art under the guise of collecting and as visual culture.

This art and science in the time of the Baroque were not antagonistic and instead were interrelated in the construction of a new pictorial time and space where nature became viewed even more intensely less as a divine hieroglyphic and more as visual culture, afaithful reflection of the influence of science on art.



Nicolas Poussin, Landscape with Juno, Io and Argos (detail), ca. 1634-35

Gemäldegalerie. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

Photo: Jörg P. Anders.

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Educational and cultural activities