The Birth of the Modern Artist and Critic in Bohemia: Art, Science and the Discovery of Time

Jaroslav Anděl



In his article, Jaroslav Anděl traces the changes that took place in both art and science in the Czech Lands in the course of the 19th century. In the works and commentaries of such painters as Karel Purkyně or Soběslav Pinkas, he fi nds early signals of the emergence of modern art. Even the scientifi c fi ndings of Karel Purkyně’s father, J. E. Purkyně, a renowned natural scientist of his era, divulge links to modern art-forms, such as cinematography. The exchange between art and science is apparent, for example, in the geological inspiration for Adolf Kosárek’s paintings. What is particular about such works and scientifi c endeavors is their disruption of the static imagery and emphasis on the flow of time. Th e rise of urbanism and, consequently, of individualism, brought the passing and linear conception of time to the fore. Anděl claims that this “discovery of time” was a crucial element in constituting both the modern artist and critic.


art; science; time; visuality

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: /// email: