Museum for Music Automatons

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Astronomy and Cosmology

Malefic Meteor, 1980
Tower of Babel I (detail), 1952
The World of the Atlases (Detail), 1975-78

Dürrenmatt’s visual art often attests to his interest already as a child in astronomy and cosmology. In his art, he incorporates the splendour of celestial bodies such as seen through a telescope or in astronomy photos into paintings dealing with biblical or mythological topics. For example, inserted into the background of his Tower of Babel paintings are solar prominences, clouds of cosmic dust and spiral-shaped galaxies. Dürrenmatt himself explained that he painted The World of the Atlases after having studied the “black hole” concept. In his mind’s eye, star collisions, supernovas and the fall of meteorites are incarnations of catastrophes and the apocalypse (e.g. Catastrophe, Malific Meteor).

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