Great historical figures may be remembered at the height of their fame, but they have the context of their times and contemporaries that shapes them.
Arthur I. Miller of University College London lectures on the startling similarities between the lives and great works of Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso.
The most important scientist of the twentieth century, and its most important artist, went through their periods of greatest creativity almost simultaneously and under remarkably similar circumstances: Einstein’s special theory of relativity and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It turns out they were both working on the same problem: the nature of space and time and, more particularly, simultaneity. When they produced these astonishing works, Einstein and Picasso were not the distinguished elderly figures that later became so familiar: they were in their twenties, unknown, feisty, dirt-poor, and prone to getting into trouble.
This lecture is part of Einstein Fest at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Canada.