Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment (Hardback)Daniela Bleichmar (author)
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Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 1379 g
Dimensions: 241 x 222 x 28 mm
--Thomas B. F. Cummins"
"[B]eautifully illustrated and concisely written. . . . Visible Empire has much to offer."--Hugh Cagle, University of Utah "Itinerario "
"Visible Empire is a necessary and important contribution to the history of natural history and exploration. Meticulously researched, gracefully written, and always sensitive to disciplinary methodology . . . it shows how careful attention to both the local and the broader historical contexts can inform our understanding of scientific practices and the fashioning of epistemological approaches. Lavishly illustrated and beautifully produced, this book is an example of interdisciplinarity at its best."--Maria M. Portuondo "Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences "
"Carefully researched and lavishly illustrated, . . . Bleichmar's book is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of eighteenth-century Spanish science and early modern visual culture. It presents a detailed and engaging narrative which challenges centre-periphery approaches to colonial science and illuminates the complex networks of exchange in operation in the Spanish Empire. Visible Empire adds to a growing literature on the study of natural history in the Hispanic world. It would appeal to readers with an interest in colonial science or botanical illustration."--Helen Cowie "Archives of Natural History "
"An important contribution to the history of science, visual culture, and imperial Spain. In it, readers from different disciplines will find much food for thought. . . . Visible Empire clearly demonstrates that art history and visual culture studies have much to contribute to larger discussions about politics and knowledge production in the early modern Spanish world."--Monica Dominguez Torres, University of Delaware "William and Mary Quarterly "
"Visible Empire explores an important yet virtually unexplored chapter in the history of Spain's eighteenth-century Enlightenment. It was then that the country's Bourbon monarchy, for reasons both commercial and scientific, set out to discover, record, and systematically classify the botanical riches of the New World. This ambitious project resulted in thousands of botanical illustrations of extraordinary originality and quality, many of which are reproduced in this handsome volume for the very first time. Bleichmar's approach to these images is imaginatively interdisciplinary, as she examines the circumstances surrounding their production; the artists, native as well as Spanish and creole, involved; together with the thorny aesthetic issues that representing nature necessarily entails. She also situates these images within the broader context of the Enlightenment's quest to understand the mysteries of the natural world. Visible Empire is an extraordinary achievement, and definitely one that deserves a wide audience."--Richard L. Kagan, Johns Hopkins University
"The history of late eighteenth-century Latin America is often told simply as the Creoles' ever-increasing disenchantment with an unenlightened Mother Spain. Daniela Bleichmar's remarkable book offers us a different history, one in which an Enlightenment study of natural history takes center stage. She casts before the reader passionate and dedicated men of learning and the arts who under Spanish royal sponsorship were entrusted to perform precise observation of the natural fruits of divine creation and render them into splendid and copious scientific illustrations; the results of 'artful looking . . . a barometer of Enlightenment thought.' Bleichmar provides more than just an account of these accomplishments; she wields an interdisciplinary brilliance that melds the best of the history of science, art history, and history and serves up a critical and fascinating examination of Linnean classification, scientific illustration, and their complex intersection, scientific and social, in recording the flora of South America."--Thomas B. F. Cummins, Harvard University
--Thomas B. F. Cummins
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