A Glimpse Into the Brain, Drawn by the Father of Neuroscience


From The New York Times: A new exhibit at the Grey Gallery at New York University presents 80 hand-drawn renderings of the brain by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience.

“In his research, Cajal’s two tools were the most powerful microscope he could find and one of the oldest art techniques known to mankind: drawing, for which he had great talent. Looking through the lens he saw with such acuity and drew so precisely (freehand) that some of his renderings still appear in text books. And yet he also drew with such delicacy and vivacity that his drawings stand on their own as wonders of graphic expression, both mysterious and familiar.

The drawings are at once fairly hard-nosed fact if you know your science. If you don’t they are deep pools of suggestive motifs into which the imagination can dive. Their lines, forms and various textures of stippling, dashes and faint pencil circles would be the envy of any modern artist. That they connect with Surrealist drawing, biomorphic abstraction and exquisite doodling is only the half of it.”

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