Chapter

<i>Esse est Percipi</i>: Hands and Eyes

in The Lady Anatomist

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780226520810
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226520841 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226520841.003.0006
Esse est Percipi: Hands and Eyes

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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This chapter explores Anna Morandi's renderings of the hand and the eye—those parts indispensable for anatomical dissection and sculpture, sense and cognition, perception and knowledge—and also describes the ascendant question of sexual difference. Morandi, who began her anatomical notebook by focusing on the eye, did not favor the conceptualizing powers of the eye over the kinesthetic functions of the hand. Her series on the hand visually and scientifically echoed Francesco Algarotti. The singular attention to the perceptive powers of the hand that Morandi represented in wax and her implicit engagement with contemporary philosophical discourse in her writings on sense perception would appear to extend the reach of her practice, of her own anatomizing hand, to the academic cathedra of Bologna and Enlightenment Europe.

Keywords: hand; eye; Anna Morandi; anatomical dissection; sculpture; sexual difference; wax; Bologna; Enlightenment Europe

Chapter.  4926 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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