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.

Visual Arts

Architecture

Astronomical references in architecture is more common than you might think. The day/night and seasonal cycles challenge architects to adapt to the changing light and environment they are building in. More direct influences of astronomy on architecture include the alignment of architectual elements with astronomical objects or events. This includes sites like stonehenge which is aligned with the Sun on the summer and winter scolstice. 

Stonehenge

Ceramics, Sculpture, Drawing, and Painting

Since astornomy has played such an essential role in human history, many thematic elements of astronomy have been used in design for thousands of years. Even some of the earliest cave paintings show evidence of constellations being depicted. 

Starry Night

Photography

With the practices of long exposure and the invention of CCD cameras, astrophotography has become a common art form for professional artists and amature astronomers. Astrophotography is easy to get into as a hobby. 

Performing Arts

Music

Astronomy is a common musical subject. While there is no little sound in space, humans have been making music about the universe beyond Earth for some time. 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Theater

 

Film

Literary Arts

Fiction 

SciFi

Non-fiction

Non-fiction astronomy works are many, this website is one! 

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.

There are many poems including references to astronomy. A selection are included here:

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

    How to ask a question?

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