Research report 2019 - Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History
Communicating the previously invisible: Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and his microscopic experiments
Fransen, Sietske; Cocquyt, Tiemen; van Egmond, Wim; Kusukawa, Sachiko
Max-Planck Forschungsgruppe „Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions”
SummaryTo understand better the methods of visual communication of new scientific discoveries in the seventeenth century, this project focusses on the Dutch microscopist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek. With a team of experts on visual culture, early modern microscopy, and modern photomicrography, we investigated the earliest surviving microscopic specimens made by Leeuwenhoek himself through one of his hand-made microscopes. We compared the results to his original letters and drawings, resulting into new insights into the epistemological value of drawings in the seventeenth-century microscopy.