Illustrated Scientific Books in Early Modern Europe

Current faculty: Daniela Bleichmar

Description: This course will examine the role of images in the production and circulation of scientific knowledge in early modern Europe, from the rise of the printed book to 1800. We will discuss topics such as the role of images in the production and circulation of knowledge; relationships between authors, artists, and printers; comparisons across graphic-rich genres such as natural history, cartography, anatomy, astronomy, and technology; the various types of work that images performed, including evidentiary, emblematic, allegorical, illustrative, and ornamental; images in printed versus manuscript books; the relationships between images, texts, and objects; the artistic and artisanal practices, materials, and techniques used to create images; the spaces and people involved in making and interpreting images; and trust and mistrust of images in books. We will look at a wide range of examples from the perspectives of the history of the book, the history of science, art history, and visual studies. We will examine key examples of early modern illustrated scientific books in collections across Los Angeles.

Requirements: No previous experience necessary.

Years taught: 2019, 2021