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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which deals with the broader cultural operations anthropomorphism performed in the early modern era. Anthropomorphism-the projection of the human form onto aspects of the world-closely relates to early modern notions of analogy and microcosm. The denigration of anthropomorphic practices makes sense only from the turn of modern philosophy and science, with the advent of rationalism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Early modernity thus offers a plethora of entirely anthropomorphic diagrams, botanical treatises, zoological studies, maps, alphabets, architecture motifs and collections of ornaments. Early modern anthropomorphism does more than merely suggest the idea of multiple correlations between microcosm and macrocosm. The human body also provided a model with respect to which artists and art theorists claimed to fashion human creations. The chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters in the book are organized.

Keywords: early modern anthropomorphism; early modernity; macrocosm; microcosm



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