Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

Scientist Painters

S. Satyanarayana


Every one knows that Mona Lisa is a world famous painting and that it stands for beauty.  But few people know that Leonordo da Vinci drew the painting with La-Giokonda as the model.  As enigmatic smile, a voluptuous satisfaction and a dignified look in the eyes are the specialties of the portrait that attract the attention of the viewers.

“The Last Supper” painted by him in Milan attracts millions of people.  Aesthetic beauty pervades his creation.  He was a great construction genius.  He was the engineer of Venice appointed by the state.  He constructed dams and canals.  He was a sculptor too, a musician, a philosopher and a critic. He had knowledge of medical science. He dissected human and animal bodies and drew detailed sketches, which were of great help to the medical world. He possessed a thorough knowledge of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and geography.  The Clas-Linca museum was constructed at the place where he died.  Forty sketches of helicopters, parachutes, torpedo’s, sub-marines drawn by him are preserved in the museum.  He discovered the machine gun.

In the nineteenth century Jaques Falrin Gariter-de-Ahagoti, another scientist, painter drew in colour, human anatomical sketches. He taught students artistic anatomy. His paintings are world famous.
Dr. Frank Netter, M.D. is a famous American painter and scientist.  The colour painting of human anatomy by him is of great help to medical students.

A painting, drawn imaginatively on the canvas accords a beautiful permanence to the glory of nature.  Though not a professional zoologist, Walter Niks Mayer turned into a scientist with self-effort, perseverance and keen interest.  He observed closely the physical features of insects and drew their sketches with their great precision and feeling and published a book “The insects of the world”.  He discussed in great detail the physical construction of the bodies of the insects, the movement of their limbs, their colour, the sounds they produce, their behaviour and their habitats.  His efforts were commended by scientists as unique.

It was Homi Bhabha who paned the way for the Pokhran explosion of recent times in India, which created a place for India in the nuclear club as the sixth nuclear nation in the world.  Bhabha was as great as an artist as he was a nuclear scientist.  He was also an engineer, astronomer, musician and a bio-physical scientist.  He is called the friends of Trees.  He was a versatile genius.  He collected the paintings of many painters.  He was himself a good painter in water colours and oils.  His paintings are mostly drawn from nature. He had the scientist’s precision with the artist’s exuberation.

O.T. Ravindran is another botanical painter who loses himself in the joy of creative art. He was a horticulturist, photographer and a meteorologist.  He painted flowers standing before flowering plants and won world-wide acclaim as a painter of plants and flowers.  He grows rare species of plants in his garden.  He is called the James Anduban of India.  Anduban was a world famous name in the painting wild birds. The horticultural society of London presented Ravindran the green seal medal five times.

A painter tries to bring about a balance between scientific thinking and imagination.  Such a great artist was Enlan Been.  He was the commander of the Apollo 12 Lunar module of 1969.  He was a natural painter of landscape, still life and portrait.  He painted the first painting connected with space flights called “The spirit of light”. He did on the large canvas Astronaut Dew Scott landing on the moon.  His painting were bought by art lovers for twelve thousand dollars in his days.

The first Russian space commander of 1965 who voyaged in Soyuz space craft, Alexeyonov was also a painter.  In 1975 he met Been in the space craft.  Their paintings were exhibited in the Paris scientific museum in 1985.

Charlie Bonstal who was born in 1885 was another natural artist.  He drew the imaginary picture of Jesley Fuel Rocket long before the Right brothers. In his seventeenth year he visited the League Observatory and observed the skies through the 12” giant telescope and painted the picture of Saturn the moment he went home.  His paintings were brought in book form in 1944.  He created the space craze in minds of the people with his painting.  He painted the planets and the stars most naturally which looked like photographs. His imaginary painting proved useful in space research.  The asteroid 3129 was named after him by scientists as a tribute to his genius.

George Stub, born in 1724, was another portrait painter who painted the beauty of nature.  He dissected hundreds of horses for eighteen months and sketched their anatomical parts and published a book “The Anatomy of the Horse”.  He also drew the sketches of the fetus in a mother’s womb.

John James Anduban in America of the eighteenth century painted sketches of birds in colour and black and white as well and published the book “Birds of America”.  The book is considered “the Bible” by bird lovers and artists.   

The artistic production of scientists have been of great help to modern science. The aim of writing this article is to induce in scientists a love of art and encourage them to express themselves artistically through drawings and paintings.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: