Early Modern Art and Science

Carmen Niekrasz, Claudia Swan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


During the epistemic shift conventionally called the Scientific Revolution, the study of nature came to depend on images. This chapter focuses on the variety of standards for naturalism in the early modern period. Jacopo Ligozzi provides evidence that artistic naturalism was aligned with scientific interests of the time. It also focuses on the features and functions of scientific illustration, changing role of images in anatomical instruction, and shared practices. The chapter reviews the instructive ways of excavating the connections between early modern art and science in future scholarship. A more probing investigation of the area of overlap between artistic and scientific modes of picturing the world is to be found in art historian Svetlana Alper's interpretation of seventeenth-century Dutch art. A potentially more helpful tool for analyzing artistic and scientific naturalism and the countless early modern images that instantiate it may lie in the conception of works made ad vivum or from the life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Science
Subtitle of host publicationEarly Modern Science (Vol 3)
EditorsKatharine Park, Lorraine Daston
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-1139054010
StatePublished - 2006


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