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An Iconological Analysis of the Relationships between Art, Science and Power
In Early Modern Thesis Prints in the Southern Netherlands, Gwendoline de Mûelenaere offers an account of the practice of producing illustrated thesis prints in the seventeenth-century Southern Low Countries. She argues that the evolution of the thesis print genre gave rise to the creation of a specific visual language combining efficiently various figurative registers of a historical and symbolic nature. The book offers a reflection on the representation of knowledge and its public recognition in the context of academic defenses.

Early Modern Thesis Prints makes a timely contribution to our understanding of early modern print culture and more specifically to the expanding field of study concerned with the role of visual materials in early modern thought.
In the early modern Iberian book world, as in the European book world more broadly, most works issuing from the presses contained some form of ornamentation. The nineteen contributions presented here cast light on these visual elements—on the production and ownership of printers’ materials, and on the frequency with which these materials were exchanged and shared. A third of all items printed in the early modern Iberian world carried no imprint at all; for these items, woodblocks and engravings can assist scholars seeking to identify their place of origin or their date of publication. As importantly, decoration and illustration in early print can also reveal much about the history of the graphic arts and evolving forms of cultural representation.