This article argues that despite individual Fellows’ interest in artistic practices, and similarities between a philosophical and a connoisseurial appreciation of art, the Royal Society as an institution may have been wary of image-making as a way of conveying knowledge because of the power of images to stir the passions and sway the intellect. Using Robert Hooke as a case study it explores some of the connections between philosophers and makers in Restoration London. It goes on to suggest that some epistemic images were in fact designed to elicit an emotional response in their viewers in order to force them to re-evaluate the subject-matter by presenting it in a new and surprising way.

You do not currently have access to this content.