Eye of the Beholder:
Antoni van Leeuwenhoek,
and the Reinvention of Seeing
W. W. Norton & Company
Elegantly written intellectual history….Fascinating….[Snyder] proves an able and engaging guide.
An engaging and richly detailed work of interdisciplinary history.
Laura Snyder is both a masterly scholar and a powerful storyteller. A fabulous book.
This delightful book is solidly researched but reads like a novel—and a good one at that!
Ingenious, lucid and revealing look at the lives of two brilliant men who changed our way of seeing the world.
One of those engaging books that make you smarter without making you suffer….This poetic, inclusive approach to popular science writing makes Eye of the Beholder an unfailing pleasure to read.
It is in this absorbing way that Snyder takes us back through time, beyond the reflections and shadows, to the very heart of Vermeer’s art.
This is more than a joint biography. It is a portrait of an age of insatiable intellectual curiosity….The great pleasure of this book is how Snyder makes the science clear to the layman.
Spectacular….As in her previous masterwork, The Philosophical Breakfast Club, [Snyder] ingeniously explores the minutiae of her subjects’ lives to reveal sweeping changes in how their world was understood – ones that still resonate today.
Snyder beautifully evokes the ambience of late-seventeenth-century Delft….She is revelatory about Vermeer’s aims and methods
Rich and rewarding . . . . One of the pleasures of her book is that it demonstrates how Vermeer and Leeuwenhoek, rather than copying reality, showed that it contained within it more than one could have supposed—inner space, both psychological and biological.
Laura J. Snyder’s Eye of the Beholder is an irresistible invitation into the lives and work of Vermeer and van Leeuwenhoek and how the extraordinary intersection of their genius in Seventeenth century Delft awakened our perceptions of how we see the world. It’s a wonderful and vivid book.
Eye of the Beholder is a thoughtful elaboration of the modern notion of seeing. Laura J. Snyder delves into the seventeenth century fascination with the tools of art and science, and shows how they came together to help us make sense of what is right in front of our eyes.