Astronomy in the Arts

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Astronomy, amongst all the sciences, is unusual in it's ability to inspire. Through the ages, and in almost every culture on Earth objects in the sky have been the subject of countless drawings, poems and pieces of music. This page is devoted to all forms of Art which are inspired by or include references to Astronomy.

Poetry

The Astronomer is a painting finished about 1668 by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is oil on canvas, and is on display at the Louvre, Paris. Portrayals of scientists were a favourite topic in 17th century Dutch painting and Vermeer’s oeuvre includes both this astronomer and the slightly later The Geographer.Credit: Johannes Vermeer

The Astronomer by Johannes Vermeer. The Astronomer is a painting finished about 1668 by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. It is oil on canvas, and is on display at the Louvre, Paris. Portrayals of scientists were a favourite topic in 17th century Dutch painting and Vermeer's oeuvre includes both this astronomer and the slightly later The Geographer.
Many thanks to a "Curious" reader whose question on the link between astronomy and poetry sparked this addition to the "Curious" site. There are many poems including references to astronomy. A selection are included here:

(Note: I have not checked if there is a copyright remaining on these poems. If the inclusion of a poem infringes on your copyright please email us and we will gladly take it down. As astronomy grad students we probably have less money than most poets so there's really no point in sueing us).

There are already a lot of good sites on the web which discuss the topic of Astronomy in the Arts, so we will not repeat them here, but instead provide a large number of links below.

Questions About Astronomy in the Arts

  • General Questions
  • The Ask an Astronomer team's favorite links about Astronomy in the Arts:

    General sites

    Galleries

    Written works

    Cinema

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