Sally Hacker Prize

Society for the History of Technology

A Best Art Book of 2015


Best Reads of 2015

New Scientist

“Elegantly written intellectual history. . . . Fascinating.”

The New York Times

“Engaging and richly detailed.”

The Wall Street Journal

“One of those engaging books that makes you smarter without
making you suffer. . . An unfailing pleasure to read.”

Daily Beast

“Absorbing. . . . Snyder takes us back through time, beyond
the shadows and reflections, to the very heart of Vermeer’s art.”

The Independent (UK)

“So suffused with excitement it feels like a thriller.”

The Herald (UK)

“This is much more than a group 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.”

Daily Mail (UK)

“Snyder beautifully evokes the ambience of late-seventeenth-century
Delft. . . . She is revelatory about Vermeer’s aims and methods.”


“Irresistible . . . . Spectacular . . . .[Snyder] ingeniously explores
the minutiae of her subjects’ lives to reveal sweeping changes
in how their world was understood—ones that still resonate today.”

New Scientist

“Rich and rewarding.”

American Scholar

“Ingenious, lucid and revealing look at the lives of
two brilliant men who changed our way of seeing the world.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Laura Snyder is both a masterly scholar and a powerful storyteller.
She transports us to the wonder-age of seventeenth-century Holland.
A fabulous book.”

Oliver Sacks

“This delightful book is solidly researched
but reads like a novel—and a good one at that!”

Walter Liedtke  ·  Metropolitan Museum of Art

Click here to listen.

I discussed Eye of the Beholder with Leonard Lopate.

“An irresistible invitation into the lives and work of
Vermeer and van Leeuwenhoek.
It’s a wonderful and vivid book.”

Katharine Weber  ·  Author of The Music Lesson

“A thoughtful elaboration of the modern notion of seeing.”

Russell Shorto  ·  Author of Amsterdam