Art History in “Einstein for Beginners” by Joseph Schwartz and Michael McGuinness

This book combines text and illustrations (I hesitate calling it a graphic novel) to explain Einstein’s life, the world he was born in, and the theories he put together.  Regarding art history, the book reproduces paintings, manuscripts, photographs, and other types of prints to stress points made in the written text.  To elaborate, when writing about the history of scientific and mathematical breakthroughs, the book used reproductions hailing from various eras.  For example, when the book profiled Galileo and his innovations, the book used a painting of Venice that I believe emerged from the Grand Tour era of world history.  However, when illustrating Ancient Egypt’s contributions to math, the drawings of the pyramids take a turn for the abstract.  I would even call it a crude execution.

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