Before class on Wednesday, I knew that this seminar class would be about going to see an art exhibit, which is not one of my favorite things to do. However, after Professor Liu came to class to talk about the art exhibit, my opinion changed. I am like him in the sense that I am very interested in science. So when he gave us an introduction to the thought process behind Johann Jakob Scheuchzer when he made his paintings, I became interested in the art exhibit because of my interest in science. It seemed very unique for an artist to unify scientific thought with art and religion. These three concepts are typically unrelated. Science and religion have often clashed because of different theories behind how the universe began. It was interesting to see that there wasn’t a schism in this artists mind, to see how he united art, science and religion in this exhibit.
One particular painting stood out to me in this exhibit, and I think its safe to assume why it made it onto the cover of the information booklet. Scheuchzer’s Plate CCCLXXXI of Judges 14, verse 8, shows his unique intertwining of religion and scientific knowledge. Samson is bent over examining the skeleton of a lion. It shows Scheuchzer’s love of anatomy and fossils because of how Samson is examining the skeleton, and the picture of the completed skeleton above the frame. I also like how Scheuchzer has many details in all of his frames. He unites all of his paintings with his frames. For this painting he put bones on the sides of the frame. In his Plate CCCLXXX of Judges 14, verses 5 and 6, he has the front half of a lion on both sides of the frame, and Greek coins depicting Hercules fighting the Nemean lion. This painting is also very interesting because it combines the story of Samson and Hercules. Normally, Greek mythology and biblical stories are not intertwined in today’s society.