Describing and Visualizing the Underworld: Athanasius Kircher’s Mundus Subterraneous and its Context

Research Seminar

  • Online Event – Registration Required
  • Datum: 09.09.2020
  • Uhrzeit: 11:00 - 13:00
  • Vortragende: Monica Azzolini
  • Gastgeber: Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte
  • Kontakt:
Describing and Visualizing the Underworld: Athanasius Kircher’s Mundus Subterraneus and its Context <i></i><sub></sub><sup></sup>
Much like the human body, to which it was often compared, the body of the Earth was made of a visible surface and an invisible core. This seminar explores the challenges of describing and investigating the invisible that lies under the surface, but also the powerful draw it exerted on naturalists living in (or travelling to) specific locations across Italy.

By looking at a number of less-known authors that wrote before or during Athanasius Kircher’s lifetime, this seminar aims to highlight how seeing, observing, describing, and drawing what could not be easily seen posed special challenges to natural naturalists at a time when, it is argued, observation, experience and its visual rendering acquired new prominence in the investigation of nature. The seminar will move through a series of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century descriptions and images to illustrate and explore this theme.

Note: This is an Online Event - Registration Required
In order to attend this event, you are requested to register by email at the latest the day before, 8 September 2020, at the email address:
We will reply with the necessary access information for this online research seminar.

Monica Azzolini teaches the history of science at the University of Bologna. She is the author of The Duke and the Stars: Astrology and Politics in Renaissance Milan. She is currently working on two projects: one on 'disaster saints', and another on the 'invisible' Earth, ca. 1550-1750.

Scientific organization: Sietske Fransen

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