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Vanities of the Eye: Vision in Early Modern European Culture (Paperback)
  • Vanities of the Eye: Vision in Early Modern European Culture (Paperback)
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Vanities of the Eye: Vision in Early Modern European Culture (Paperback)

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£37.49
Paperback 444 Pages / Published: 15/01/2009
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Vanities of the Eye investigates the cultural history of the senses in early modern Europe, a time in which the nature and reliability of human vision was the focus of much debate. In medicine, art theory, science, religion, and philosophy, sight came to be characterised as uncertain or paradoxical - mental images no longer resembled the external world. Was seeing really believing? Stuart Clark explores the controversial debates of the time - from the fantasies and hallucinations of melancholia, to the illusions of magic, art, demonic deceptions, and witchcraft. The truth and function of religious images and the authenticity of miracles and visions were also questioned with new vigour, affecting such contemporary works as Macbeth - a play deeply concerned with the dangers of visual illusion. Clark also contends that there was a close connection between these debates and the ways in which philosophers such as Descartes and Hobbes developed new theories on the relationship between the real and virtual. Original, highly accessible, and a major contribution to our understanding of European culture, Vanities of the Eye will be of great interest to a wide range of historians and anyone interested in the true nature of seeing.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199541607
Number of pages: 444
Weight: 668 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[A] densely argued work. * British Journal for the History of Science *
A major intellectual triumph, an indispensible and enlightening read for all those interested in the early modern body and its senses. * History Workshop Journal *
[This book is] based on prodigiously wide reading and solid scholarship. * The English Historical Review *
This book offers much new information on attitudes during the early modern period, attitudes that have been historically neglected ... [An] important piece of research. * Early Popular Visual Culture *
...compelling...Vanities of the Eye offers readers a taste of the unexpected and fruitful complexities to be gained by turning a serious eye to the historical questions of sight. * Yvonne Gasper Institute for Historical Review *
an impressive and authoritative contribution to the cultural historu of sight that will provide a substantial resource for scholars working in a number of fields. * Jane Partner, Renaissance Quarterly *

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