Images and Institutions: The Visual Culture of Early Modern Scientific Societies

  • Beginn: 14.09.2022
  • Ende: 16.09.2022
  • Vortragende(r): Conference
  • Ort: Accademia dei Lincei, Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) and Bibliotheca Hertziana
  • Kontakt:
Images and Institutions: The Visual Culture of Early Modern Scientific Societies
Images and Institutions brings together an international team of historians of art and science for a three-day symposium in Rome to gain a larger picture of the relationships between visual culture and the developing practices of collaborative science.

During this symposium we will study the diverse ways in which images were used in the production and dissemination of knowledge in early modern scientific societies such as the Accademia dei Lincei, the Accademia del Cimento, and the Académie Royale des Sciences. Central questions include: What common visual practices were shared among these institutions, and importantly, where did they diverge? How did differing national artistic contexts impact the visual culture of scientific institutions? And how did these relationships shift over time with new enlightenment societies founded in the 18th century? By comparing these institutions, we will explore the ways in which images and image-making practices were integral to the advancement of early modern collaborative science.


If you are interested in attending any of the sessions in person in Rome, please contact as seating is limited. Sachiko Kusukawa's keynote lecture will be open to the public to attend, both in person and on zoom, but registration is required. To register please contact

Day 1 (14 September 2022) Accademia dei Lincei
14:00–14:30 Welcome and Introduction (Katherine Reinhart and Matthijs Jonker)
Session 1. The Visual Strategies of the Early Accademia dei Lincei
Chair: Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi (Accademia dei Lincei)
14:30–15:00 paper 1. Irene Baldriga
Ut pictura manifestat: Iconographic Patterns and Documentation “After Reality” in the Visual Imagery of the First Accademia dei Lincei
15:00–15:30 paper 2. Matthijs Jonker
Understanding the Exotic: Original and Copied Images in the Production of the Tesoro messicano
15:30–16:00 Discussion
16:00–16:45 Break and time to see the small exhibit in the Lincean archive
Session 2. Understanding other Cultures Through the Circulation of Images
Chair: TBC
16:45-17:15 paper 3. Angelo Cattaneo
The “Armazém da [Casa] Índia”
17:15–17:45 paper 4. Federica Favino
Structure and Iconography of the Ancient Triremes on the Trajan Column
17:45–18:15 paper 5. Aleksander Musiał
Tracing Vapours: António Nunes Ribeiro Sanches’s Treatise on Russian baths (1771-9) between Paris and Saint Petersburg
18:15–19:00 Discussion

Day 2 (15 September 2022) Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR)
Session 3. The Visual Strategies of Institutional Journals in the 18th Century
Chair: TBC
09:00–09:30 paper 6. Simon Rebohm
Between Epistemology and Practice: Images in the Ephemerides of the Leopoldina
09:30–10:00 paper 7. Alicia Hughes
Image-making in The Society of Physicians in London and the Medical Observations and Inquiries journal (17541784)
10:00–10:30 Discussion
10:30–11:00 Break
Session 4. Old Theories and New Instruments: Microscopy in Rome and London
Chair: Sietske Fransen (Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History)
11:00–11.30 paper 8. Ellen Pater
Through Buonanni’s Lens: Observing and Representing Spontaneous Generation at the Collegio Romano
11:30–12:00 paper 9. Xinyi Wen
Between Internal and External: The Doctrine of Signatures and Visual Culture in Early Royal Society
12:00–12:30 Discussion
12:00– 14:00 Lunch Break
Session 5. The Visual Strategies of the Accademia del Cimento
Chair: TBC
14:00–14:30 paper 10. Giulia Giannini
Making the Invisible Visible: Images and Communication of Science at the Accademia del Cimento
14:30–15:00 paper 11. Stefano Gulizia
Image-Making in the Cimento’s Network: Expertise more geometrico in Borelli, Steno, and Malpighi
15:00–15:30 paper 12. Eva Struhal
Virtual Witnessing: Illustrations and Mental Images in the Saggi della naturale Esperienze
15:30–16:00 Discussion
16:00–17:00 Break
Keynote lecture (hybrid)
Chair: Florike Egmond (Leiden University)
17:00–18:30 paper 13. Sachiko Kusukawa
Early Modern Scientific Institutions and Their Images

Day 3 (16 September 2022) Bibliotheca Hertziana
Session 6. The Visual Strategies of the Académie Royale des Sciences and other French Institutions
Chair: TBC
09:00–09:30 paper 14. Katherine Reinhart
Science & Statecraft: On the Epistemic and Political Functions of Images in the Académie Royale des Sciences
09:30–10:00 paper 15. Antoine Gallay
The Value of Accuracy: How Savants Supervised Draughtsmen and Corrected Pictures in the Early Académie Royale des Sciences
10:00–10:30 Discussion
10:30–11:00 Break
11:00–11:30 paper 16. Carole Nataf
Picturing shells from Senegal: Visual Competition at the Académie des Sciences, the Jardin du roi and Parisian curieux circles in the Year 1757
11:30–12:00 paper 17. Leendert van der Miesen
Images and Their Detractors at the Prize Contests of the Bordeaux Academy of Sciences
12:00–12:30 Discussion
12:30–13:30 Lunch (provided by Bibliotheca Hertziana, for invited speakers only)
Session 7. Artistic and Scientific Exchange within Early Modern Institutions
Chair: TBC
13:30–14:00 paper 18. Sophie-Luise Mävers
Crossing Institutional Boundaries? Artistic Reflections on the Interdependencies of Academies of Sciences and Arts in Late 17th and 18th Century Europe
14:00–14:30 paper 19. Immacolata Iaccarino
Gelati’s Intellectual Circle: the Epistemic Interaction and the Figurative Program of Ottavio Scarlattini’s L’huomo, e sue parti figurato (1684)
14:30–15:00 Discussion
15:00–15:30 Break
15:30–16:00 paper 20. Ruth Sargent Noyes
A case study in a previously unidentified state of Mattheus Greuter’s Melissographia
16:00–16:30 paper 21. Eric Jorink
Teyler’s Foundation of Haarlem (1778): Between Art, Science, and Religion
16:30–17:00 Discussion
17:00–17:15 Break
17:15–18:00 Final Discussion

Scientific organization: Katherine Reinhart (Binghamton University), Matthijs Jonker (Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, KNIR), Irene Baldriga (Sapienza, Università di Roma), Sietske Fransen (Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History)

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