Friday, July 26, 2013

Dutch Baroque (pt. 10)

The Astronomer.  This one is maybe my favorite.  Everything about this speaks philosophy and the work of the person—not the person himself.  Even his full face is hidden from view, turned towards his endeavors in studying the universe.  He reaches out toward the globe, the spherical representation of knowledge, with an opened book placed in front of him on the desk.  More books fill the shelf in the back, and pinned to the front of the shelf is a diagram of geometric lines of radial symmetry.  He is, as most of Vermeer's figures, near a window.  The lighting in the room is warm, and the glow from the outside sunlight falls onto the astronomer as a kind of symbolic display of God's radiant presence in his studies of the cosmos.  It was around this time that scientists Johannes Kepler, Galileo, and Sir Isaac Newton were making breakthrough discoveries in the study of nature and the order of the universe.  Even these scientists, and especially these scientists, believed in the existence of a Supreme Deity, God, a Creator and Sustainer of the heavens.  Recently Dr. Stephen C. Meyer spoke on this subject in an interview, stating, "The founders of early modern science…all not only believed in God but they thought that their belief in God actually made it easier to do science."

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