ART 439 / HIS 453 / ECS 439

The Invisible Renaissance: Science, Art, and Magic in Early Modern Europe

Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann and Jennifer M. Rampling

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How did early modern people depict phenomena they could not see? This course traces attempts to represent the invisible: from angels and the influence of stars and magnets, to microscopic creatures and magical effects. Philosophers, painters and magi puzzled over these unseen forces, beings and structures, seeking to describe them in writings and artworks. We will unpack their arguments and try to reconstruct their practices, including optical tricks and alchemical experiments. The course culminates in a virtual exhibition, curated by students, as we follow in the steps of Renaissance thinkers and artists, and put the invisible on display.

View this course on the Registrar’s website.

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