Religion, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modern Period

Religion, Technology, and the Arts in the Early Modern Period

Koen Vermeir

castrum_sacrum1.jpg

Narratio ... Ignatii et Francisci canonizatione (Douai, 1622), insert p. 17

What should we make of a seventeenth-century wooden Christ, who drenched spectators in the blood spouting from his wound? How are we to understand an artfully crafted automaton, performing battles between ferocious animals, until Orpheus and St. Xavier pacified them? And how are we to read representations of a magic lantern symbolizing divine emanations and representing a metaphysics of light? In this project, Koen Vermeir studied the intersection between religious, technical, artisanal, and artistic knowledge in the early modern period. This comprised various subprojects, e.g., on automata, optical technologies, mining practices, natural histories, or the notion of "ingenium," for which Koen Vermeir undertook research in German archives and libraries.