Article ID: CBB705585979

Creativity in Art, Literature, Music, Science, and Inventions (2022)


This essay aims to stimulate reflection on the creativity characterising Homo sapiens in the different realms in which it occurs. Over recent decades scholarly research into creativity has extended the original concept, restricted to geniuses, to a broader field that encompasses the qualities and abilities of every individual, in line with a democratisation of the creative act. However, the aim of this contribution is to illustrate the creativity of geniuses, referring to examples in various fields, according to Poincaré’s definition of connecting pre-existing elements into new combinations that are novel and useful. The objective of this study is to show that pre-existing elements can be found in works of art, literature, poetry, and music, as well as in scientific discoveries or inventions. Having demonstrated the existence of concrete and real analogies in the various – and apparently profoundly different – fields of human creativity, a second objective was to construct a convincing proof of a notion of a culture characterised by an essential unity, without any separation between humanities and sciences. I trust that the analysis of the creative acts that generated Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Michelangelo’s Vaticano Pietà, Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table, Giacomo Leopardi’s L’infinito (The infinite) and Wisława Szymborska’s Liczba Pi (Pi), the beginning of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Brahms’ Fourth Symphony the finale of Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps, the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen and of the therapeutic properties of lithium salts for psychiatric disorders by John Frederick Joseph Cade, the invention of incandescent light bulbs by Thomas Alva Edison and many other inventors and of the electronic television by Philo Taylor Farnsworth, may succeed in achieving the first objective and, by extension, the second also.

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Authors & Contributors
Hagner, Michael
Lightman, Alan P.
Green Musselman, Elizabeth
Root-Bernstein, Robert Scott
Ohanian, Hans C.
Topper, David R.
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Journal of the History of Ideas
Renaissance Quarterly
Wallstein Verlag
Pantheon Books
State University of New York Press
W. W. Norton & Co.
Harvard University Press
Creativity; genius
Science and art
Science and music
Personality of the scientist
Science and literature
Einstein, Albert
Herschel, John Frederick William
Dalton, John
Kelvin, William Thomson, Baron
Babbage, Charles
Heisenberg, Werner
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
17th century
18th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
Great Britain
United States
Northern Europe
Royal Society of London

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