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Art History

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“DaVinci meets DNA”

Walking around the Science in Art exhibit, I was struck by one particular piece of art. Lynette Miller’s “Madonna of the Double Helix” caught my eye, not only for its remarkable use of materials, but for its stark resemblance to a far more well known artist, Leonardo DaVinci. The piece that I shall compare and contrast it to is DaVinci’s “Vitruvian Man”. Miller’s Madonna is of a far more modern era, first created in 2007. This modern American artist combined ink on Masonite, with portray a Madonna with her child and then superimposed outlines of DNA and mathematical drawings on top of it. The result is almost unconceivable. The second piece, DaVinci’s Vetruvian Man, is a drawing of the seemingly perfect man, done with a charcoal pencil on paper. This piece dates back to 1487, and also contains two superimposed images. Both of these pieces represent a blend of art and science as well as exploring the relationship and new meanings created by simultaneously viewing disparte imagery. They represent a time where art is not mixed with the undefined science and math. It really relates to a question of the beauty of humanity.

The Madonna of the Double Helix is a portrayal of the idea that there is more to truth and reality than what can be detected with our senses. The Madonna is painted in a very Renaissance type manner, with her round idealistic features. However , the work as a whole is also very realistic as it poses the truths of science in direct relationship to the subjects of the painting. The nude child that the Madonna holds is superimposed in a different pose with measurements and mathematical equatiosn surrounding it. The style appears to be a blend of Renaissance and modern science or math. There is also symbolism in the art work, in the form of DNA strands. These



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