Chapter ID: CBB494535414

“Which Cannot Be Sufficiently Described by My Pen.” The Codification of Knowledge in Theater Engineering, 1480–1680 (2017)


This paper is dedicated to theater engineering and related modes of knowledge production and transfer in early modern Europe. It focuses on two case studies: (1) Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) and the rise of theater engineering as a lucrative field of activity for “artist-engineers” in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy, and (2) Giulio Parigi’s (1571–1635) “school of theater engineering,” the first of its kind, in early seventeenth-century Florence and the subsequent spread of engineering knowledge among European court artists. The paper traces how theater engineers started to transfer and codify their knowledge beyond the realm of publication, how specific schools of “theater engineering” emerged, and how the first manuals and series of machine drawings were published. In parallel, it examines the changing function of theater machines in the period under investigation, from representing religious motives to representing natural phenomena. With this shift, theater engineering gained new epistemic values. It was linked to the emerging experimental philosophy not only by a shared mechanical knowledge, but also by the formation of new iconographic programs of nature.

Included in

Book Matteo Valleriani (2017) The Structures of Practical Knowledge. unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Book Agostino Catalano; Rossano Pazzagli; (2015)
Arte e tecnica in Leonardo ingegnere (/isis/citation/CBB570902651/)

Chapter Agostino Catalano; (2015)
L'architettura tecnica in Leonardo da Vinci (/isis/citation/CBB422716093/)

Article Bettoni, Barbara; (2014)
Fashion, Tradition, and Innovation in Button Manufacturing in Early Modern Italy (/isis/citation/CBB001421296/)

Chapter Pascal Brioist; (2015)
Leonardo da Vinci e la scienza della dinamica del suo tempo (/isis/citation/CBB550591382/)

Book Blond, Stéphane J. L.; Hilaire-Pérez, Liliane; Virol, Michèle; (2017)
Mobilités d'ingénieurs en Europe, XVe-XVIIIe siècle: Mélanges en l'honneur d'Hélène Vérin (/isis/citation/CBB033334578/)

Chapter Luigi Traetta; (2015)
L'ingegnere che ricostruì una storia. Bélidor e le macchine ai tempi di Leonardo (/isis/citation/CBB373277896/)

Book Enrico Giannetto; Giulia Giannini; (2009)
Da Archimede a Majorana: la fisica nel suo divenire (/isis/citation/CBB945473809/)

Article Fornés, Jordi; Herran, Néstor; Duque, Luís; (2016)
Computing for Democracy: The Asociación de Técnicos de Informática and the Professionalization of Computing in Spain (/isis/citation/CBB968890910/)

Book Edward Rhodes; (2014)
Engineering America: The Rise of the American Professional Class, 1838-1920 (/isis/citation/CBB020855635/)

Article Hård, Mikae;; (1983)
Då ingenjörsrollen formades (When the role of engineers was formed) (/isis/citation/CBB127005833/)

Article Maria Innocenza Runco; (2019)
Hysteria in Music and on the Stage (/isis/citation/CBB917990331/)

Book Philip Steadman; (2021)
Renaissance fun : the machines behind the scenes (/isis/citation/CBB573542059/)

Article Vezio Ruggieri; (2019)
Stanislavskij and Actor's Psychophisiology (/isis/citation/CBB505769174/)

Article Sonia Bellavia; (2019)
Otto Rank and Hermann Bahr Amidst Theater and Psychoanalysis in Freud's Vienna (/isis/citation/CBB682143936/)

Book W. Patrick McCray; (2020)
Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture (/isis/citation/CBB401442708/)

Authors & Contributors
Catalano, Agostino
Pazzagli, Rossano
Rhodes, Edward
Runco, Maria Innocenza
Buccaro, Alfredo
Simon Paye
Medicina nei Secoli - Arte e Scienza
Technology and Culture
Polhem: Tidskrift för Teknikhistoria
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Westphalia Press
UCL Press
Presses Universitaires de Rennes
MIT Press
Science and art
Technology and art
Leonardo da Vinci
Vérin, Hélène
Spinoza, Baruch
Ptolemy, Claudius
Poincaré, Jules Henri
Majorana, Ettore
Time Periods
Early modern
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
16th century
United States
Asociación de Técnicos de Informática
Association of Information Technology Technicians (ATI)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment