Jaya Remond: "Nature’s imprint/nature in print"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - The Rausing Room
  • Organiser: Department of History of Science and Ideas
  • Contact person: H. Otto Sibum
  • Seminarium

Office for History of Science

Jaya Remond, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science: "Nature’s imprint/nature in print: The challenges of depicting exotic plants in France and the Netherlands ca. 1600-1700"


Abstract
My paper explores prints and drawings depicting exotic plants—mostly from the New World—made in France and the Netherlands ca. 1600-1700. Focusing on the graphic production of figures as diverse as botanist Charles Plumier and artist Maria Sybilla Merian, I look at the intrinsic construction of pictures to explain some mechanisms of knowledge-making, particularly the control of image-makers over the production chain of knowledge from the first drawing to the finished print: ultimately, printing nature is about capturing nature’s imprint and truth. Such graphic productions question the epistemic status of botanical images: did the discovery of species largely unknown until then in the West generate a special kind of visual attention? How did it stimulate new practices of observation and description? What was at stake in the adoption of certain pictorial strategies, particularly zoomed-in and up close views of plants? Drawing upon my on-going research on discourses and practices of botanical image-making, I hope to shed some light on the operations that turn the act of observation into a graphic act.