What were the possibilities and limits of vision in the early modern world? How did political expansion, cross-cultural trade, scientific exploration and discrete religious practices require new ways of rendering the unknown visible, and of making what was seen knowable? Drawing upon experiences forged in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, Seeing Across Cultures argues that distinctive ways of habituating the eyes in the early modern period had epistemic consequences: in the realm of politics, daily practice and the imaginary. The essays here consider prints and panoramas, sculpted works of stone and corn pith cane - and their physical presence in the lived world - calling attention to the materiality and sensuality of visual experience. Anchored in writings on art history and visual culture, Seeing Across Cultures also engages histories of transcultural encounters and vision.
Dana Leibsohn is Priscilla Paine van der Poel Professor of Art History at Smith College, USA. Jeanette Favrot Peterson is an Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.
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