Original idea by Joan Munt. Adapted by Olga Alas
The guiding thread of this survey is that of inventions, in the sense of machines or mechanical devices to be seen in the selected paintings. They are frequently not the principal subject of the painting: on the contrary, they are secondary objects that illustrate the numerous inventions that have made our lives easier and more comfortable.
In the ancient world art, science and technology were not separated as they are today. In their original sense the words art (ars in Latin) and technology (from the Greek tecné) meant the same, i.e. man’s capacity to create. Leonardo da Vinci represents the remarkable culmination of the synthesis of the two concepts. From Newton onwards and subsequently with Romanticism, art and science became separated into two different and contrasting disciplines: objectivity, reality and logic as opposed to subjectivity, imagination and emotion. In the 20th century and even more so in the 21st century, these boundaries have once again become less precise with art being enriched by science and vice versa.