The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Exhibition Website

Jan 25 2019 - Apr 7 2019

The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal is the first U.S. museum exhibition to present the extraordinary drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Spain, 1852–1934), the father of modern neuroscience. 

Cajal’s astonishing depictions of the brain—which combine cutting-edge scientific knowledge with consummate draftsmanship—offer much greater clarity than photographs, so much so that they are still in wide use today. Featuring approximately 80 of Cajal’s drawings, the show will situate them within the history of scientific illustration from the 16th to 19th centuries, and juxtapose them with contemporary visualizations of the brain. 

Organized by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in collaboration with the Cajal Institute.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Image: Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Calyces of Held in the nucleus of the trapezoid body, 1934. Ink and pencil on paper, 5 3/5 x 3 3/5 in. Cajal Institute (CSIC), Madrid

Whether you go or not, you can bring the exhibition into your home. The exhibition catalog, The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Ramon y Cajal, sits at the crossroads of art and science presenting Nobel Laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s groundbreaking artistic brain imagery. Ramón y Cajal 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.

Select The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Ramon y Cajal to learn more or to place this book in your Amazon shopping cart. 

  • Works on Paper
  • European
  • 19th Century
  • Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Exhibition Venues & Dates