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The English Virtuoso: Art, Medicine, and Antiquarianism in the Age of Empiricism (Hardback)
  • The English Virtuoso: Art, Medicine, and Antiquarianism in the Age of Empiricism (Hardback)
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The English Virtuoso: Art, Medicine, and Antiquarianism in the Age of Empiricism (Hardback)

(author)
£47.50
Hardback 296 Pages / Published: 02/06/2009
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Contrary to twentieth-century criticism that cast them as misguided dabblers, English virtuosi in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries were erudite individuals with solid grounding in the classics, deep appreciation for the arts, and sincere curiosity about the natural world. Reestablishing their broad historical significance, "The English Virtuoso" situates this polymathic group at the rich intersection of the period's art, medicine, and antiquarianism.At the heart of this profoundly interdisciplinary study lies the Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, which from its founding in 1660 served as the major professional organization for London's leading physicians, many of them prominent virtuosi. Craig Ashley Hanson reveals that a vital art audience emerged from the Royal Society - whose members assembled many of the period's most important nonaristocratic collections - a century before most accounts date the establishment of an institutional base for the arts in England. Unearthing the fascinating stories of an impressive cast of characters, Hanson establishes a new foundation for understanding both the relationship between British art and science and the artistic accomplishments of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226315874
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 1034 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"A long overdue reassessment of the early English virtuosic sensibility. Hanson shows how virtue was to be found in the erudite knowledge of all of life's resemblances, reuniting art, medicine, and science in a manner that would have been understood in earlier centuries, and remains of interest today."

--Hal Cook, director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine
"An elegant and revelatory study, which vaults from discipline to discipline with enviable ease: Craig Ashley Hanson is almost as much of a polymath as his learned subjects. As befits a book partly about visual culture, the design is lovely too."

--Lucy Worsley, chief curator, Historic Royal Palaces
"The aim of "The English Virtuoso"--to provide a new narrative for British art in the 1600s and 1700s by examining the relationship between the arts, empiricism, and medicine in seventeenth-century England--is original and persuasive. Following a chronological trajectory that charts the medical community's active interest in the arts, it is gracefully written and brings to light large quantities of important yet previously unknown or neglected material. This book is an impressive achievement."

--Pamela H. Smith, Columbia University
A long overdue reassessment of the early English virtuosic sensibility. Hanson shows how virtue was to be found in the erudite knowledge of all of life s resemblances, reuniting art, medicine, and science in a manner that would have been understood in earlier centuries, and remains of interest today.
--Hal Cook, director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine"
The aim of "The English Virtuoso" to provide a new narrative for British art in the 1600s and 1700s by examining the relationship between the arts, empiricism, and medicine in seventeenth-century England is original and persuasive. Following a chronological trajectory that charts the medical community s active interest in the arts, it is gracefully written and brings to light large quantities of important yet previously unknown or neglected material. This book is an impressive achievement.
--Pamela H. Smith, Columbia University"
An elegant and revelatory study, which vaults from discipline to discipline with enviable ease: Craig Ashley Hanson is almost as much of a polymath as his learned subjects. As befits a book partly about visual culture, the design is lovely too.
--Lucy Worsley, chief curator, Historic Royal Palaces"

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