2004
Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2589-4617
  • E-ISSN: 2667-2081

Abstract

Abstract

Between 1723 and 1743, the French bookseller Jean Frederic Bernard, who had emigrated to Amsterdam, published the seven-volume , richly illustrated by Bernard Picart. Earlier research argued that Picart and Bernard are important predecessors of the emerging scientific fields of anthropology and ethnology in the early modern period because of their use of the comparative method. The frontispiece Picart developed for the work in 1727 confirms this. Although previous research has already pointed at this frontispiece’s iconographic and metaphorical value in relation to the entire work, a thorough close reading of the title print seems to be lacking. In this contribution, I not only show to what extent the frontispiece serves as a visual synthesis for the book’s content, I also argue that it reveals Picart and Bernard’s artistic strategy of condemning the ceremoniality and theatricality in these religious rituals.

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