Author: mariekehendriksen

A forgotten chapter in natural history: the taxidermy of man

By Marieke Hendriksen Having written a book on eighteenth-century anatomical collections, I know a thing or two about historical techniques for preserving (parts of) the human body. As I am interested in natural history collections more generally, I also did some research on the preservation of animal bodies, and even…

Creating and integrating a database – work in progress

By Marieke Hendriksen As mentioned in the post introducing the ARTECHNE project at Utrecht University last month, we are in the process of creating a database containing recipes, artist handbooks, and art theoretical texts that can clarify the development of the use of the term ‘technique’, as well as related…

Introducing ARTECHNE – Technique in the Arts, 1500-1950

By Sven Dupré and Marieke Hendriksen What is ‘technique’ in the visual and decorative arts? And how is ‘technique’ transmitted? Those are the central questions of ARTECHNE, a five-year project supported by the European Research Council, and led by Sven Dupré, that started at Utrecht University and the University of…

How to avoid a bad buy and angry patrons: a recipe for pigment testing

As we have seen in other blog posts before, recipes for counterfeits, imitations, and ersatz products were fairly common in the early modern period. On the other hand, there were recipes to detect the results of such deceit, such as this recipe to determine whether wine had been sweetened with lead…

Searching for Recipes: A Glimpse of Early Modern Upper Class Life

By Marieke Hendriksen On this blog we tend to hear a lot about English household manuscript recipes but lively traditions existed elsewhere, as Sietske Fransen and Saskia Klerk also show in their series on a Dutch manuscript of recipes. In my own search for eighteenth-century Dutch medical and chemical recipes, I often…

From bloodstone to fish soup: iron recipes

By Marieke Hendrikksen In my research on the use of metals in eighteenth-century medical chemistry, iron has a special place. Unlike other metals, which were increasingly regarded as dangerous, iron remained a safe bet in blood-related diseases. However, up until the early nineteenth century, this understanding was not so much…

Bottoms up: beer as medicine

Over the years, I have encountered quite a few early modern recipes based on or consisting entirely of a drink still commonly used today, such as medicated wines and tea. In 2013, I heard James B. Sumner speak at ICHSTM … Continue reading →

Bottoms up: beer as medicine

Over the years, I have encountered quite a few early modern recipes based on or consisting entirely of a drink still commonly used today, such as medicated wines and tea. In 2013, I heard James B. Sumner speak at ICHSTM … Continue reading →

The dose makes the poison: dangerous plants

By Marieke Hendriksen My current research focuses on how certain materials, particularly metals, gemstones and glass, mostly disappeared from the medicine of Boerhaave and his followers. This primarily had to do with how these substances were chemically understood. When I … Continue reading →

The (lack of) power of gemstones

The idea of gemstones having curative powers has existed from ancient times until the present day. As I am interested in the use of chemical and mineral substances in eighteenth-century Dutch and particularly Boerhavian medicine, I am currently analysing medical … Continue reading →

Boerhaave’s contemporary fame: a letter from China to recipe books

By Marieke Hendriksen My current research project focuses on how Herman Boerhaave’s (1668-1738) medical and chemical ideas, particularly those on metals, influenced the theories and practices of his students and other followers. The longer I work on this topic, the … Continue reading →

A seventeenth-century miner’s brandy recipe

By Marieke Hendriksen Recently, I’ve been studying, amongst others, the works of a seventeenth-century Dutch bergwerker, freely translated a miner, or rather a mining specialist. Goossen van Vreeswijck (ca. 1626- after 1689) was an adventurous man, who worked in the … Continue reading →