The Body of the Artisan
Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution
From goldsmiths to locksmiths and from carpenters to painters, artists and artisans were much sought after by the new scientists for their intimate, hands-on knowledge of natural materials and the ability to manipulate them. Drawing on a fascinating array of new evidence from northern Europe including artisans' objects and their writings, Smith shows how artisans saw all knowledge as rooted in matter and nature. With nearly two hundred images, The Body of the Artisan provides astonishingly vivid examples of this Renaissance synergy among art, craft, and science, and recovers a forgotten episode of the Scientific Revolution-an episode that forever altered the way we see the natural world.
American Historical Association: AHA-Leo Gershoy Award
"Smith's engaging study deals with neglected bodies, both those of artisans of the early modern period and that more durable corpus of the writings, paintings, and sculptures they have left to us. . . . A beautifully presented work of considerable relevance to historians of art, science, and literature."
Part I: Flanders
Chapter 1: The Artisanal World
Part II: South German Cities
Chapter 2: Artisanal Epistemology
Chapter 3: The Body of the Artisan
Chapter 4: Artisanship, Alchemy, and a Vernacular Science of Matter
Part III: The Dutch Republic
Chapter 5: The Legacy of Paracelsus: Practitioners and New Philosophers
Chapter 6: The Institutionalization of the New Philosophy
Conclusion: Toward a History of Vernacular Science
List of Illustrations