17th-Century Artistic Attempts to Imagine ‘Perfect’ Animal Forms before ‘the Fall’

Crispin van de Passe’s perfect elephant as featured in his ‘t Light der teken en schilderkonst (1643) / Internet Archive Does each species have an optimal form? An ideal beauty that existed prior to the Fall? And if so could this be recreated on both paper and in life? These were questions that concerned both artists and[…]

Anabaptist Confessional Migration in Early Modern Europe

Hutterite family 1588 Anabaptists constituted one of the most persecuted and most mobile religious populations of the Reformation and Confessional Ages. By Dr. Geoffrey Dipple / 07.15.2015 Professor of Early Modern History University of Alberta Abstract Lacking a durable alliance with the state anywhere in Europe, Anabaptists constituted one of the most persecuted and most[…]

Discrimination and Economic Motives for Medieval to Modern Jewish Migration

Sephardic Diaspora map / Skillman Library, Lafayette College Were (and are) Jewish migrations predominantly the result of persecution and discrimination or were economic motives their main cause? By Dr. Tobias Brinkmann / 12.03.2010 Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History Pennsylvania State University Introduction Were (and are) Jewish migrations[…]

A Dog’s Life, from Kyoto to Versailles

Pictured on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum: Dog-shaped Box on a Low Table (background) and Peach-shaped Box (foreground), Japanese, Edo period, late 17th–mid-18th century, lacquer. Musée national des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon The dramatic tale of how a small Japanese lacquer box has survived over centuries. By Jeffrey Weaver / 10.08.2018 Associate Curator of Sculpture and[…]

Maria Sibylla Merian, Trailblazing Artist-Scientist of the Seventeenth Century

Beehive in a Floral Wreath (detail), 1730, Maria Sibylla Merian. The Getty Research Institute, 89-B10813 Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) was a woman far ahead of her time: a skilled, meticulous artist in an era when few women could participate in this profession. By Zoe Goldman / 10.24.2018 Administrative and Project Assistant Getty Publications Introduction Portrait of[…]

The Turbulent 17th Century: Civil War, Regicide, the Restoration, and the Glorious Revolution

St George’s Day procession, with King James under a canopy attended by Knights of the Garter, chaplains, choirboys and others (ff. 43v–44r), Paintings of London in the friendship album of Michael van Meer, c. 1614-1615 / University of Edinburgh, Creative Commons The 17th century was a time of great political and social turmoil in England,[…]

Challenging the 1623 Edict of Grace in the Spanish Inquisition

The Inquisition Tribunal, by Francisco Goya, c.1815 / Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Wikimedia Commons The 1623 Edict of Grace released by the Spanish Inquisition in Seville to address the heresy of alumbradismo was a contested affair. By Dr. Jessica J. Fowler Postdoctoral International Teaching Fellow” IE School of International Relations IE[…]

Star Chamber Stories: Using Criminal Law to Criminal Ends in Early Modern London

Engraving of the Star Chamber, published in “Old and new London” in 1873, taken from a drawing made in 1836 / University of California Libraries, Wikimedia Commons Murder, conspiracy, illicit sex – the Court of Star Chamber judges heard it all. By Dr. Krista Kesselring / 04.05.2018 Professor of History Dalhousie University Murder, conspiracy, illicit[…]

Marianne and the Motto of the French Republic

Marianne is the embodiment of the French Republic. Marianne represents the permanent values that found her citizens’ attachment to the Republic: “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. Employed alternately by opponents of the republican system and by its defenders, the name Marianne (Marie-Anne), popular with the working classes, is the symbol of a Republic constructed by the gradual[…]

The Birth of Mass Media: Printmaking in Early Modern Europe

It can be hard to fathom the society-altering impact the new printed image had when it first appeared in Europe around 1400. By Dr. Alison Stewart Hixson-Lied Professor of Art History University of Nebraska-Lincoln It is hardly too much to say that since the invention of writing there has been no more important invention than[…]

Japan from the Edo Period to the Meiji Restoration

Floats for the Kanda Festival, 1843 / Photo by Daderot, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Wikimedia Commons Looking at Japan’s growth and change from the Early Modern to Modern worlds. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.17.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The Edo Period The Edo period (1603-1868), when Japanese society was under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate,[…]

Early Modern Books and Moving Images

EPB/35960/A: François Mauriceau, The accomplisht midwife, treating of the diseases of women with child, and in child-bed (London: J. Darby for B. Billingsley, 1673), first folding plate. Wellcome Images L0014457. By Rebecca Whiteley / 08.11.2016 PhD Student in History of Art University College London Looking through copies of ‘The diseases of women with child and[…]

Seeing Blindness: The Danish West Indies in the 17th Century

Freed slaves in the Danish West Indies / Public Domain A long and complicated history of Scandinavian-Caribbean relations. By Francisca Fuentes / 07.17.2018 Curator, North American Pub Collections British Library When you enter the British Library exhibition ‘Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land’, you are met by a fragment of Derek Walcott’s Nobel lecture. This fragment is[…]

‘Enlightened Despots’ in the Early Modern World

Equestrian portrait of Catherine in the Preobrazhensky Regiment’s uniform. / Wikimedia Commons Enlightened despotism, also called benevolent despotism, was a form of government in the 18th century in which absolute monarchs pursued legal, social, and educational reforms inspired by the Enlightenment. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.12.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Frederick the Great and[…]

Early Modern European Settler Colonies

Portuguese Fort Aguada, Goa, India / Photo by Abhijit Nandi, Creative Commons Beginning in the early modern age, European settler colonies were founded first beyond the Atlantic Ocean and later in the Pacific, but not in Asia. By Dr. Christoph Marx / 06.06.2017 Professor of History Universität Duisburg-Essen Introduction Beginning in the early modern age, European settler[…]

Early Modern Memes: The Reuse and Recycling of Woodcuts in 17th-Century English Popular Print

Detail from The BEGGARS Delight, EBBA 34937. As explored later in the essay, this woodcut would be reused in many different contexts, the speech bubble variously filled accordingly — University of California, Santa Barbara, English Broadside Ballad Archive Expensive and laborious to produce, a single woodcut could be recycled to illustrate scores of different ballads, each new[…]

European Fashion and Cultural Transfer, 1450-1950

Hendrick Avercamp’s ‘Ice Scene’ (c. 1610). Wikimedia Commons The function of fashion as a form of cultural transfer in Europe-wide social processes between 1450 and 1950. By Dr. Gabriele Mentges / 06.03.2011 Professor of the Cultural History of Clothing/Fashion/Textiles Institute for Arts and Material Culture Technische Universität Dortmunt Introduction This article discusses the function of fashion as a[…]

The ‘Lawe of Nations’: How Diplomatic Immunity Protected an Elizabethan Assassin

Mary Queen of Scots was at the centre of numerous plots to kill Queen Elizabeth I. Pierre Révoil (1776–1842) When the Spanish ambassador to Elizabeth I’s court was implicated in a plot to kill her, he was protected by the fledgling laws of diplomacy. By Dr. Carol Rutter / 05.23.2018 Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies University of Warwick A foreign state sponsors a[…]

European Perceptions of America since the 17th Century

1750 map of America / museumoutlets.com By Dr. Marcus Gräser / 02.08.2011 Professor of History Institut für Neuere Geschichte und Zeitgeschichte Johannes Kepler University Abstract Early on, the USA – “America” – became a point of reference within European consciousnesses against which European societies could analyse themselves. At the same time, America acted as a repository[…]

Religious Orders as Transnational Networks of the Catholic Church in the Early Modern World

Benedictine Abbey of Saint John / Photo by Wladyslaw, Wikimedia Commons The history of the Christian churches as transnational and global actors is reflected in the history of Christian religious orders and communities. By Dr. Joachim Schmiedl / 09.19.2011 Chair of Middle and New Church History Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Vallendar Abstract The history of the Christian churches[…]

The Dutch Revolt in the Early Modern World

The Battle of Gibraltar, by Cornelis Claesz van Wieringen, c.1621 / Rijksmuseum via Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 05.09.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Origins of the Revolt 1.1 – Religion During the 16th century, Protestantism rapidly gained ground in the Dutch Provinces. Initially the Spanish repressed the Protestants, but eventually the local officials[…]

Ashkenazi Jews in Early Modern Europe

“Yiddish Motifs” (Yidishe Motoyf). Woodcut of a traditional Shtetl by the Chicago-based Ashkenazi artist Todros Geller, published in the series “From Land to Land” (Fun Land tsu Land) during the 1930s. / WorldAtlas By Dr. Predrag Bukovec / 03.07.2012 Liturgiology University of Vienna Introduction This article describes the history of Jews in Eastern Europe which[…]

The Health of Children and Youth in Early Modern England

Scene from frontispiece to EPB/47966/A: Jane Sharp, The compleat midwife’s companion: or, the art of midwifry improv’d (London: J. Marsall [sic], 1724). Wellcome Images L0028111. / Wellcome Library By Dr. Linda Payne Inaugural Sirridge Missouri Endowed Professor in Medical Humanities and Bioethics University of Missouri-Kansas City Children and youth in early modern England (1500-1800) were[…]

The Grand Alliances of Early Modern Europe

The Battle of Malplaquet, 1709: The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene Entering the French Entrenchments, by Louis Laguerre, early 18th century / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Andrew Thompson / 01.22.2013 Chief Executive Arts & Humanities Research Council Abstract European politics in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries were dominated by warfare. This article considers[…]

Dynastic Marriage in Early Modern Europe

Catherine the Great / Public Domain By Dr. Heinz Duchhardt / 08.04.2011 Professor of History Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz Abstract The often-quoted “family of princes” was at no time a truly pan-European network, but represented rather a collection of various marriage circles defined first by – among others – geography, and following[…]

Chambers of Art and Wonders in Early Modern Europe

The Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in His Gallery at Brussels, by David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) 1651. / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna As collection rooms based on a universalist approach to art and artifacts, the chambers of art and wonders (Wunderkammern) were characteristic of the pre-modern era. By Gabriele Beßler / 07.16.2015 Art Historian Abstract As collection[…]

Dynastic Networks and Interdependence in Early Modern Europe

Queen Victoria / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Daniel Schönpflug / 12.03.2010 Professor of History Universität Berlin Abstract The kinship ties of Europe’s royal houses were part of a specific technique of maintaining power. To secure and extend their authority European dynasties made use of inheritance and marriages, as well as communication and cooperation among relatives. Their[…]