The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution

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The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution

Pamela H. Smith

Publisher: University of Chicago PressFormat: Paperback

In “The Body of the Artisan,” Pamela H. Smith demonstrates how much early modern science owed to an unlikely source: artists and artisans. Goldsmiths, locksmiths, carpenters, and painters were all sought after by early scientists for their intimate, hands-on knowledge of natural materials, as well as their ability to manipulate them. Drawing on a fascinating array of new evidence from northern Europe, and including nearly 200 images of artisans' objects alongside their writings, “The Body of the Artisan” convincingly demonstrates that artisans viewed knowledge as thoroughly rooted in matter and nature. “The Body of the Artisan” provides astonishingly vivid examples of this Renaissance synergy among art, craft, and science, recovering a forgotten episode of the Scientific Revolution—an episode that forever altered the way we see the natural world, and science too."A fascinating and significant contribution to a more social, collective, and diversified history of scientific (and artistic) transformations."—Simon Werrett, “Science”

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