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Imaging the Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine
by Barbara Maria Stafford
About The Book
“[Body Criticism] establishes at one stroke a new research agenda in what may be called the ‘visual sciences’. It offers an exicting and provocative analysis of the body and body metaphors in an encyclopedic work of truly international and interdisciplinary nature”.
— Louis Gottschalk Prize “Stafford’s books is … full of intriguing, even intoxicating, ideas. For anyone involved with images it opens unexplored avenues of thought, forcing one to question traditional assumptions about both images and text”.
— Helene Roberts, Visual Resources
In this erudite and profusely illustrated history of perception, Barbara Stafford explores a remarkable set of body metaphors deriving from both aesthetic and medical practices that were developed during the enlightenment for making visible the unseeable aspects of the world. While she focuses on these metaphors as a reflection of the changing attitudes toward the human body during the period of birth of the modern world, she also presents a strong argument for our need to recognize the occurrence of a profound revolution — a radical shift from a text-based to a visually centered culture.
Co-recipient of the 1992 Louis Gottschalk Prize, The American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies
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