Paintings, Drawings and Prints up to the Nineteenth Century
This richly illustrated book provides an overview of all known Dutch and Flemish artists up to the nineteenth century who painted or drew flower pieces, or else made prints of them. Unlike many mainstream art historical studies, the book takes a truly comprehensive approach, including cases where only a single example is known or even if nothing of the artist’s other work appears to have survived. Containing highly instructive lists identifying the names of flowers, as well as insects and other animals, the book also discusses the earliest depictions of flower still life and the distinctive characteristics behind the development of floral arrangements in different periods, including the variation of the flowers, the variety of techniques used by artists, as well as an exploration of the symbolism behind the numerous plant and animal species this form of art portrays.

Composed in Dutch, the text was translated into English by Judith Deitch and edited by Philip Kelleway.

This collection of studies is the result of a six-year interdisciplinary research project undertaken by an international team of archaeologists, historians, numismatists and paleobotanists. It constitutes a completely new approach to environmental, cultural and settlement changes during the Migration Period in Central Europe.

Part One discusses written sources, theories regarding migration, and environmental change in the first millennium AD. In Part Two, archaeological sources relating to Central Europe in the Migration Period are analysed, while Part Three is devoted to new discoveries between the Oder and the Vistula, including traces of Germanic settlement in northern Poland in the early seventh century. In Part Four, evidence for cultural and settlement changes in neighbouring areas is characterized in a comparative light.

Throughout the 20th century, there have been many different forms of abstract painting. While works by some artists, e.g., Piet Mondrian, are usually described as static, others are described as dynamic, such as Jackson Pollock’s ‘action paintings’. Art historians have assumed that beholders not only conceptualise such differences in depicted dynamics but also mirror these in their viewing behaviour. In an interdisciplinary eye-tracking study, we tested this concept through investigating both the localisation of fixations (polyfocal viewing) and the average duration of fixations as well as saccade velocity, duration and path curvature. We showed 30 different abstract paintings to 40 participants — 20 laypeople and 20 experts (art students) — and used self-reporting to investigate the perceived dynamism of each painting and its relationship with (a) the average number and duration of fixations, (b) the average number, duration and velocity of saccades as well as the amplitude and curvature area of saccade paths, and (c) pleasantness and familiarity ratings. We found that the average number of fixations and saccades, saccade velocity, and pleasantness ratings increase with an increase in perceived dynamism ratings. Meanwhile the saccade duration decreased with an increase in perceived dynamism. Additionally, the analysis showed that experts gave higher dynamic ratings compared to laypeople and were more familiar with the artworks. These results indicate that there is a correlation between perceived dynamism in abstract painting and viewing behaviour — something that has long been assumed by art historians but had never been empirically supported.

In: Art & Perception

Some neuroaestheticians have adopted a strongly reductionistic view of the arts and sought to supplant scholarship about the arts with an understanding of their evolutionary and neuropsychological underpinnings. I use the work of several neuroaestheticians to provide examples of four problematic tendencies that beset this approach: (1) assume that a domain-general system encodes the affective value of works of art; (2) oversimplify or disregard art history and scholarship about the arts; (3) apply laboratory findings to explain unique works of art, and (4) use widespread preferences to account for works of art. I then diagnose the ailment underlying these tendencies: the denial of autonomous standing to the production and interpretation of the arts, and suggest remedies. I end with an example of research that shows how neuroscientific research can successfully addresses an important and long-standing aesthetic question.

In: Art & Perception
The Study of Time XVI: Time’s Urgency celebrates the 50th anniversary of the International Society for the Study of Time. It includes a keynote speech by renowned physicist Julian Barbour, a dialogue between British author David Mitchell, Katie Paterson and ISST’s previous president Paul Harris. The volume is divided into dialogues and papers that directly address the issue of urgency and time scales from various disciplines.

This book offers a unique perspective on the contemporary status of the interdisciplinary study of time. It will open new paths of inquiry for different approaches to the important issues of narrative structure and urgency. These are themes that are becoming increasingly relevant during our times.

Contributors are Julian Barbour, Dennis Costa, Kerstin Cuhls, Ileana da Silva, Margaret K. Devinney, Sonia Front, Peter A. Hancock, Paul Harris, Rose Harris-Birtill, David Mitchell, Carlos Montemayor, Jo Alyson Parker, Katie Paterson, Walter Schweidler, Raji C. Steineck, Daniela Tan, Frederick Turner, Thomas P. Weissert, Marc Wolterbeek, and Barry Wood.
The contributors to this volume share the assumption that popular narrative, when viewed with an evolutionary lens, offers an incisive index into human nature. In theory, narrative art could take a near infinity of possible forms. In actual practice, however, particular motifs, plot patterns, stereotypical figures, and artistic devices persistently resurface, indicating specific predilections frequently at odds with our actual living conditions. Our studies explore various media and genres to gauge the impact of our evolutionary inheritance, in interdependence with the respective cultural environments, on our aesthetic appreciation. As they suggest, research into mass culture is not only indispensable for evolutionary criticism but may also contribute to our understanding of prehistoric selection pressures that still influence modern preferences in popular narrative.

Contributions by David Andrews, James Carney, Mathias Clasen, Brett Cooke, Tamás Dávid-Barrett, Tom Dolack, Kathryn Duncan, Isabel Behncke Izquierdo, Joe Keener, Alex C. Parrish, Todd K. Platts, Anna Rotkirch, Judith P. Saunders, Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, Dirk Vanderbeke, and Sophia Wege.
Exploration and Discovery
Art and Science in Word and Image investigates the theme of ‘riddles of form’, exploring how discovery and innovation have functioned inter-dependently between art, literature and the sciences.

Using the impact of evolutionary biologist D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth and Form on Modernist practices as springboard into the theme, contributors consider engagements with mysteries of natural form in painting, photography, fiction, etc., as well as theories about cosmic forces, and other fields of knowledge and enquiry. Hence the collection also deals with topics including cultural inscriptions of gardens and landscapes, deconstructions of received history through word and image artworks and texts, experiments in poetic materiality, graphic re-mediations of classic fiction, and textual transactions with animation and photography.

Contributors are: Dina Aleshina, Márcia Arbex, Donna T. Canada Smith, Calum Colvin, Francis Edeline, Philippe Enrico, Étienne Février, Madeline B. Gangnes, Eric T. Haskell, Christina Ionescu, Tim Isherwood, Matthew Jarron, Philippe Kaenel, Judy Kendall, Catherine Lanone, Kristen Nassif, Solange Ribeiro de Oliveira, Eric Robertson, Frances Robertson, Cathy Roche-Liger, David Skilton, Melanie Stengele, Barry Sullivan, Alice Tarbuck, Frederik Van Dam.

The book examines the roles that rare and exotic animals played in the cultural self-fashioning and the political imaging of the Medici court during the family’s reign, first as Dukes of Florence (1532-1569) and subsequently as Grand Dukes of Tuscany (1569-1737). The book opens with an examination of global practices in zoological collecting and cultural uses of animals. The Medici’s activities as collectors of exotic species, the menageries they established and their deployment of animals in the ceremonial life of the court and in their art are examined in relation to this wider global perspective. The book seeks to nuance the myth promoted by the Medici themselves that theirs was the most successful princely serraglio in early modern Europe.  
A Worldwide Descriptive Census, Ownership, and Annotations of the 1543 and 1555 Editions
Additional background information

This book provides bibliographic information, ownership records, a detailed worldwide census and a description of the handwritten annotations for all the surviving copies of the 1543 and 1555 editions of Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica. It also offers a groundbreaking historical analysis of how the Fabrica traveled across the globe, and how readers studied, annotated and critiqued its contents from 1543 to 2017. The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius sheds a fresh light on the book’s vibrant reception history and documents how physicians, artists, theologians and collectors filled its pages with copious annotations. It also offers a novel interpretation of how an early anatomical textbook became one of the most coveted rare books for collectors in the 21st century.
Magic Science Religion explores surprising intersections among the three meaning-making and world-making practices named in the title. Through colorful examples, the book reveals circuitous ways that social, cultural and natural systems connect, enabling real kinds of magic to operate. Among the many case studies are accounts of how an eighteenth-century actor gave his audience goosebumps; how painters, poets, and pool sharks use nonlinearity in working their magics; how the first vertebrates gained consciousness; how plants fine-tuned human color vision; and the necessarily magical element of activism that builds on the conviction that "another future is possible" while working to push self-fulfilling prophecy into political action.