Writing on Hands: Memory and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe


Writing on Hands focuses on the hand as a meeting place for matter, mind, and spirit. More than 80 images, dating primarily from the 15th to the 17th centuries, concern the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge from such diverse realms as anatomy, psychology, mathematics, music rhetoric, religions, palmistry, and alchemy. The book also addresses the relationship between the hand and the brain, sensory perception, the rhetoric of gesture, early forms of finger-spelling for the deaf, morality, and spirituality. It reintroduces early modern conceptual frameworks for learning, remembering, and recalling practical and abstract concepts by means of the hand. Throughout the text, images of the hand play a vital role in interpreting the search for achieving knowledge of the self and interpreting universal human experience.

In addition to the introduction by Claire Richter Sherman, there are essays by renowned scholars Brian P. Copenhaver, Martin Kemp, Sachiko Kusukawa, and Susan Forscher Weiss.

Title: Writing on Hands: Memory and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

Author: Sherman, Claire Richter; Copenhaver, Brian P.; Lukehart, Peter M.; Folger Shakespeare Library; Trout Gallery

Categories: Exhibition Catalog, Art,

Publisher: Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., Univ of Washington Pr; The Trout Gallery, Dickinson College: 2001

ISBN Number: 0295980729

ISBN Number 13: 9780295980720

Binding: Oversize Paperback

Book Condition: Very Good

Size: XL

Weight: 1.00

Seller ID: 094122

Description: Uncreased spine; slightly curling cover corners. A clean, unmarked copy. 275 pages. From Publishers Weekly: "Focusing on really fine art by such masters as Rembrandt, Albrecht Drer, Lucas van Leyden, Leonardo da Vinci and a host of anonymous but highly accomplished creators, this exhibition catalogue (for a show at Dickinson College's Trout Gallery in Pennsylvania and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.) reveals the Middle Ages' dependence on the human hand for everything from arithmetic to music, not to mention fortune-telling. Edited by art historian Sherman (Imagining Aristotle), the essays and catalogue entries combine erudition with accessibility. Sachiko Kusukawa, a research fellow in the history and philosophy of science at Trinity College, Cambridge, contributes a particularly lucid and intriguing chapter describing a hugely important treatise on "finger-reckoning" written by the English historian Bede (c. 673-735). Martin Kemp, a professor of art history at Oxford and recognized authority on the art of Leonardo da Vinci, also contributes a useful short chapter on anatomical art, while Brian P. Copenhaver, professor of history and philosophy at UCLA, provides a somewhat more abstruse essay on divination through use of the hands. Generally, though, academic-speak is kept to a friendly minimum, given the remote nature of the subject. For its excellent, hundred-plus reproductions of etchings and engravings and intriguing focus, this well-thought-out book will be attractive for all larger art history collections, while the cover will attract the digitally curious to higher-end display tables. "

Keywords: PSYCHOLOGY,