Art, Image, and Astronomical Knowledge

Art, Image, and Astronomical Knowledge


26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology

virtually in Prague, 25-31 July 2021


Organized by the Inter-Union Commission of History of Astronomy


The symposium will address the question whether stand-alone images found in art (paintings, drawings, woodcuts, etchings, rock art, etc.) can serve as reliable and quantifiable evidence for explicating past observations of natural phenomena such as sunspots, solar eclipses, aurorae, comets, constellations, and crucial aspects of the Earth’s past climate. Speakers will compare knowledge acquired by images (paintings, rock art) with knowledge acquired by words (descriptions, reports), by empirical methods (experiment, measurement, observation) and by formulas (theory, computer models). Examples will range from the ancient and medieval world up to modern times and represent many cultures and geographic places. The sessions will also consider how, beginning in the early modern period and later, the mass reproduction of artworks and technical drawings via engraving and lithographic techniques, as well photomechanical printing processes, led to images of astronomical knowledge that are a blend of artistic skill and scientific rigor.


The program and registration instructions will be found at

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