FSU Department of Art History doctoral candidate and Fulbright Fellow Carolina Alarcon is organizing a symposium to be held in June at the University of Valencia IHMC (The López Piñero Institute for the History of Science and Medicine) on the subject of “Art and Science in the Early Modern Period.” Alarcon has spent a fruitful year in residence at the Institute, conducting research funded by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for her dissertation Materia Medica: Anatomical Illustrations in Early Modern Spain.
Alarcon’s research investigates the state of the art of anatomy in sixteenth-century Spain, with the goal of connecting illustrated anatomical literature to the broader history of natural science and medical knowledge during the Renaissance. This dissertation will address issues of importance to scholars of nascent disciplinary sciences and track the contributions of prints to early modern globalism. By analyzing a cluster of anatomical publications, Alarcon will rehabilitate images generated by practicing physicians and theorists of Spanish origin whose contributions have languished in the shadow of Andreas Vesalius’s anatomical atlas De humani corporis fabrica, published in Basel in 1543. This major milestone in both the history of anatomy and the history of the printed book was received and retooled in Spain in novel ways.
Alarcon’s research trips within Spain, as well as to the Wellcome Library in London and the Plantin-Moretus museum in Antwerp, have yielded rich results that will show the impact of Spanish images and editing practices on the development of anatomy. Her recent presentations include “Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Innovation: Valverde Reconsidered” in a session on “Artist Networks and Networking in and with Europe, 700–1700” at the April 2016 meeting of the Association of Art Historians (UK) held at Edinburgh University.