The Beautiful Brain

The Drawings of Santiago Ramon y Cajal



ISBN: 9781419722271 Category:

Larry W. Swanson, Eric Newman, Alfonso Araque, Janet M. Dubinsky


At the crossroads of art and science, Beautiful Brain presents Nobel Laureate Santiago Ramu00f3n y Cajal’s contributions to neuroscience through his groundbreaking artistic brain imagery.

Santiago Ramu00f3n y Cajal (1852-1934) was the father of modern neuroscience and an exceptional artist. He devoted his life to the anatomy of the brain, the body’s most complex and mysterious organ. His superhuman feats of visualization, based on fanatically precise techniques and countless hours at the microscope, resulted in some of the most remarkable illustrations in the history of science. Beautiful Brain presents a selection of his exquisite drawings of brain cells, brain regions, and neural circuits with accessible descriptive commentary.

These drawings are explored from multiple perspectives: Larry W. Swanson describes Cajal’s contributions to neuroscience; Lyndel King and Eric Himmel explore his artistic roots and achievement; Eric A. Newman provides commentary on the drawings; and Janet M. Dubinsky describes contemporary neuroscience imaging techniques. This book is the companion to a traveling exhibition opening at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis in February 2017, marking the first time that many of these works, which are housed at the Instituto Cajal in Madrid, have been seen outside of Spain.

Beautiful Brain showcases Cajal’s contributions to neuroscience, explores his artistic roots and achievement, and looks at his work in relation to contemporary neuroscience imaging, appealing to general readers and professionals alike.

Additional information

Weight 1326 g
Dimensions 25.9 x 28.7 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 1 December 2016
Number of pages 208
Format Hardback
Dimensions 25.9 x 28.7 cm
Weight 1326 g


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Larry W. Swanson is the author of Brain Architecture (2012) and a past president of the Society for Neuroscience. He is a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California.

Eric A. Newman, Alfonso Araque, and Janet Dubinsky are distinguished neuroscientists at the University of Minnesota.

Lyndel King is the director and chief curator of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis.

Eric Himmel is editor in chief at Abrams Books, New York.