Enlightened Animals in Eighteenth-Century Art: Sensation, Matter, and Knowledge - Sarah Cohen; | Foyles Bookstore
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Enlightened Animals in Eighteenth-Century Art: Sensation, Matter, and Knowledge
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Enlightened Animals in Eighteenth-Century Art: Sensation, Matter, and Knowledge (Paperback)

£24.99
Awaiting publication

Synopsis

How do our senses help us to understand the world? This question, which preoccupied Enlightenment thinkers, also emerged as a key theme in depictions of animals in eighteenth-century art. This book examines the ways in which painters such as Chardin, as well as sculptors, porcelain modelers, and other decorative designers portrayed animals as sensing subjects who physically confirmed the value of material experience.



The sensual style known today as the Rococo encouraged the proliferation of animals as exemplars of empirical inquiry, ranging from the popular subject of the monkey artist to the alchemical wonders of the life-sized porcelain animals created for the Saxon court. Examining writings on sensory knowledge by La Mettre, Condillac, Diderot and other philosophers side by side with depictions of the animal in art, Cohen argues that artists promoted the animal as a sensory subject while also validating the material basis of their own professional practice.

Sarah Cohen is Professor of Art History and Women's Studies at the University at Albany, USA. She has published extensively on representations of the body, both human and animal. Her first book Art, Dance and the Body in French Culture the Ancien Regime was published in 2000.

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