Etienne-Jules Marey, Bird in Flight (c. 1882)

HIST 219: Science and the Arts in Europe

Week Nine: Photographic Arts and Sciences

Tuesday: (May 28): Chronophotography and Composite Photographs

Reading: primary source reading from Francis Galton.

"Composite Portraits" (1879)


Thursday: (May 30): Evidence and Observation

Reading: Kelley Wilder, “Visualizing Radiation: The Photographs of Henri Becquerel,” pp. 347-368 in Daston and Lunbeck (eds.), Histories
of Scientific Observation

Week Eight: Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture

Tuesday: (May 21) Naturalizing Beauty and Form

Reading: Grant Allen, "Aesthetic Evolution in Man." Mind, (1881)



(Optional) Jonathan Smith, “Darwin’s Plants,” pp. 137-165 in Charles
Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture

*Paper Two DUE in class


Thursday: (May 23) Visualizing Natural Selection

No Reading   BUT spend at least an hour exploring the Endless Forms Exhibition Website and take notes as you do:

Week Seven: Scientific Visualization in the 19th Century

Tuesday: (May 14) Geology and the Depiction of Deep Time

Reading: Introduction to Rebecca Bedell, The Anatomy of Nature: Geology and American Landscape Painting, 1825-1875. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Thursday: (May 16) Burke Museum, meet inside the West entrance.

No reading, but, Paper Two is due at beginning of class OR  
First draft of term paper for those taking the course with the “W”

Week Six: Humboldtian Science
Tuesday: (May 7) Alexander von Humboldt and “the Cosmos."

Reading: Selected excerpts from Humboldt’s Cosmos (IN CLASS READING)


*Thesis statement and outline due for those taking the course with the “W” option.


Thursday: (May 9) The Physiognomic Enterprise.

Reading: Anne Marie Claire Godlewska, “From Enlightenment Vision to Modern Science? Humboldt’s Visual Thinking,” in Livingstone and Withers (eds.), Geography and Enlightenment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, (1999).

Week Five: Enlightenment Science: Collecting and Classifying Nature’s Order

Tuesday: (April 30) Travelling Artists on Voyages of Discovery

Reading: Claudio Greppi, “’On the Spot’: Traveling Artists and the Iconographic Inventory of the World, 1769-1859,” pp. 23-42 in Felix Driver and Luciana Martins (eds.), Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire.

Thursday: (May 2) Midterm Examination


Week Four: Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

Tuesday: (April 23) Alchemy and Chemical Knowledge

No Reading

*Paper 1 due at beginning of class OR one-page abstract of paper topic with preliminary references for those taking the course with the “W” option.        

Thursday: (April 25) Fireworks
Reading: Simon Werrett, “Explosive Affinities: Pyrotechnic Knowledge in Early Modern Europe,” pp. 68-89, in Pamela H. Smith and Benjamin Schmidt (eds.) Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Objects, and Texts, 1400-1800. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.


Week Three: Observing and Displaying Nature in Early Modern Europe
Tuesday: (April 16): Galileo’s Telescope

Reading: “Galileo’s ‘Perspective Tube’,” pp. 151-167, in Samuel Y. Edgerton, The Mirror, the Window, and the Telescope:
How Renaissance Linear Perspective Changed Our Vision of the Universe
. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press,

Thursday: (April 18): Commerce, Science, and Art

Reading: Paula Findlen, “Inventing Nature: Commerce, Art, and Science in the Early Modern Cabinet of Curiosities,” pp. 297-323, from Pamela H. Smith and Paula Findlen (eds.) Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science, and Art in Early Modern Europe. New York and London: Routledge, 2002.



Week Two: Renaissance Art and Science

Tuesday: Knowing and Representing Nature

Reading: Alberti, On Painting (entire text)

Thursday: Leonardo da Vinci and the "Renaissance Man"

Reading: Tom O'Neill, "Lady with a Secret."  National Geographic, Feb. 2012


Explore for at least an hour: "Universal Leonardo":


Week One: Introduction

Tuesday: What is Science, What is Art? 

Reading: none.

Thursday: Linear Perspective

Reading: Kemp's intro to Leon Battista Alberti, On Painting.  pp. 1-26

Office Hours: Wed 12:00 - 2pm,

and by appointment.

(206) 543-4256

Smith 103D