Early Modern French Seminar at the Whipple Museum

In Collaboration with the Whipple Museum, Department of Philosophy and History of Science.
During Easter and Lent terms 2016, the seminar explores textual and visual echoes of early modern French scientific material culture: 

In Lent term, our speakers will use as their pre-texts some of the French astrolabes, clocks, telescope and looking glasses, celestial charts, armillary sphere, anamorphic cylinders or more humble compasses kept in the Whipple to lead us into the reception of optics by the Republic of Letters, the curious collection of Pierre de L'Estoile, and the cunning machines of Rabelais' narrative. 
        During Easter term, celestial globes and armillary spheres loom large in readings of Belleforest and Montaigne, while the emblematic and moral uses of anamorphoses in the print work of Simon Vouet and the marginalia of the early Académie des sciences take us beyond texts into visual culture and scientific practices.


Oronce Fine, Woodcut print of a ship-shaped dial, De solaribus horologiis (1560)

© The Whipple Library, Cambridge

Oronce Fine, Navicula venitiis (1524)
© Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan

Follow the links on the left for the latest news or to download our termcard. To receive reminders of each session, either subscribe to our posts, or email Raphaële Garrod to be added to the mailing list.

Latest news

  • Easter Term at the Whipple Museum: Programme
    We are delighted to announce the Easter term programme of the early modern French seminar. 

    We will be heading again to the Whipple Museum at the department of history and philosophy of science This time, celestial globes and armillary spheres will take us into argument uses of Copernicanism in Belleforest and Montaigne; optical tricks will help us make sense of an anamorphosis displayed to an audience of wondering satyrs in a print by Simon Vouet, and marginalia will disclose the observation practices of the early Académie des Sciences. 

    The seminar will take place from 2 to 4pm in the seminar room of the Whipple Museum, where instruments and objects relating to the talk will also be on display. 

    The termcard is attached below. More information on the programme and its speakers can be accessed here.

    All warmly welcome! 

    Late-medieval armillary sphere. 
    Image © the Whipple Museum (Wh.0336)
    Posted 25 Apr 2016, 09:24 by Cambridge EMS
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