JF Ptak Science Books Post 1584 [Part of the History of Lines series]
An interesting appearance of lines in art that seemingly crosses several disciplines and chronological development is Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot's The Dreamer and the Large Trees (1874). It is vivid artwork full of motion, expressing itself in an impressionistic sense that seems almost more abstract expressionist than mid-early Impressionist. (As an Impressionistic work it would be well into the second decade of the movement; if Abstract Expressionist, it is three decades early.) It is a brusque, almost savage portrayal of a somber person in a deep wood, though the lines that is is composed of say anything but that.
The print was made via the cliche verre process1--Corot used a semi-photographic medium in which there was no camera, as it was the artist who drew the negative, who created the image from nature without a lens and without a camera body (thus eliminating lensless photography like pinhole), drawing directly on the medium (which in this case is glass, insinuated by the cliche) and then exposed/printed onto a photo-sensitive paper (the verre). The artist is in a sense making a photograph directly of the image in their mind, recording it on the medium, and then printing it from there.
Of course there are other important lines in the history of art: Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night (1889), Giacomo Balla, Street Light (1909), Umberto Boccioni States of Mind (1911), Michael Larionov's Rayonist Painting (1913), Robert Delaunay Windows, (1912), Roberto Crippa (1921-1972), Jackson Pollock (1912-1956, particularly Number 1, 1948), and any numbers of works by Barnet Newman. And of course the Cubists: Braque, Gris, Picasso, and the rest; the Constructivists like Malevich, and on and on into the sunset. But the reason I've chosen Corot is because of the unexpected, wildish impressionist qualities that seem so far out of place, even with the movement.
1. Cliche Verre was quite popular with French artists of this period, used by Theodore Rousseau, Charles Daubigny, Charles Jacques, Francois Millet and others. The process itself appeared very early on in the history of photography, being described in Robert Hunt's technical manual on artistic photography as early as 1841, two years after photography's beginning.