A Sketch of the Universe - the Visual Influences of D'Arcy Thompson's On Growth and Form

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    D’Arcy Thompson’s groundbreaking book On Growth and Form (1917) pioneered the science of mathematical biology. Its literary qualities have been frequently commented upon but arguably more influential have been its illustrations, particularly the famous transformation diagrams. This article discusses the origins and context of these iconic images, exploring D’Arcy Thompson’s own artistic and scientific interests, the long development of his controversial theories and the other collaborators involved, including illustrators Doris MacKinnon and Helen Ogilvie. It explores the various influences that the images have had in science, geography and particularly in art. Many notable artists have been drawn to the images and visual analogies of D’Arcy Thompson’s work, and the article concludes by describing examples ranging from the early graphic work of Henry Moore to the illustrative exercises created by Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore for their pioneering Basic Design Course, and on to current artists including Lindsay Sekulowicz and Gemma Anderson.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-50
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Illustration
    Volume2
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

    Keywords

    • Art
    • Art history
    • BIOLOGY
    • Art and science
    • D'Arcy Thompson

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  • Research Output

    • 1 Exhibition catalogue

    A Glimpse of a Great Vision: The D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum Art Fund Collection

    Jarron, M., 31 May 2014

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition catalogue

  • Activities

    • 2 Festival/Exhibition

    A Sketch of the Universe: Art, Science and the Influence of D’Arcy Thompson

    Matthew Jarron (Organiser)

    19 Nov 201619 Feb 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesFestival/Exhibition

    A Glimpse of a Great Vision: the D'Arcy Thompson Art Fund Collection

    Matthew Jarron (Organiser)

    31 May 201426 Jul 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesFestival/Exhibition

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