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
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