White Adam and Black Eve

A 1770 painting at the Old Pharmacy, Calw, Southern Germany, and the scientific discourse of the time on heredity, skin colour, variation and race.

Painting, wood panel, decorating a door in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, Germany, Original at the Stadtmuseum Calw, 'Palais Vischer'

Fig. 1 Painting, wood panel, decorating a door in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, Germany, Original at the Stadtmuseum Calw, 'Palais Vischer'

Introduction

No doubt an extreme rarity, this 1770 painting1  which shows a paradisiacal scene with a nude black woman and a nude, white, seemingly male person, invokes puzzlement from historians of science and art alike. (Fig. 1) Representations of the primordial couple Adam and Eve as white and black are unknown in the history of European art2 . The painting was one of four decorating the doors of a storage room in the ‘Old Pharmacy’ in the Württemberg Black Forest city of Calw. It is rare, no comparable images are known in pharmacies of German countries3 . The painter is unknown, and was possibly from the local area, a decorator of furniture and homes for the rich and educated people in Calw. The three other paintings show the three regni naturae providing the materia medica of the time, a mining scene (minerals), a pharmacy garden (plants), and a seascape (animals)4 .

The paintings decorating two doors in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, in their original arrangement. Here Fig. 2a, The Pharmacist's garden: regnum vegetable, 70*58cm

Fig. 2 The paintings decorating two doors in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, in their original arrangement.

- Fig. 2a: The Pharmacist's garden: regnum vegetable, 70*58cm

The paintings decorating two doors in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, in their original arrangement. Here Fig. 2b: the sea: regnum animale, 71*58cm

Fig. 2 The paintings decorating two doors in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, in their original arrangement.

- Fig. 2b: The sea: regnum animale, 71*58cm

(Fig. 2) The painting with the black and white human couple became known beyond the area of Calw through its reproduction in the Journal of Heredity and Scientific American in 1953 and 1954 respectively, by the geneticist Curt Stern (1902‑1981)5

Stern, a German-Jewish émigré and geneticist worked on skin colour himself. At a time shortly after the holocaust and before the take off of the civil rights movement in the USA he used the artwork as a positive heritage from both Judaeo-Christian tradition and European Enlightenment to substantiate the possibility of interpreting skin colour difference in a non-racist manner and to reject marriage bans based on racial identity6 .

Painting, wood panel, decorating a door in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, Germany, Original at the Stadtmuseum Calw, 'Palais Vischer'

- Fig. 2c: White Adam, Black Eve 71,3*52,5cm

the paintings decorating two doors in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, in their original arrangement. Here Fig. 2d: mining and metallurgy: regnum minerale, 71,5*52cm

- Fig. 2d: Mining and metallurgy: regnum minerale, 71,5*52cm

In the 1950s Curt Stern approached art historians for an interpretation of the painting; however, they couldn’t give him a clear, convincing perspective7 . The experts at the National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. stated: “No one (of the curators) knows any precedent for a white Adam and a black Eve"8 . Charles W. Richards, the curator from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, did not believe that the figures were Adam and Eve in ‘a Garden of Eden’9 . The editor of the Reallexikon der Kunst in Munich, Freiherr Hans Martin von Erffa (1911‑1998) and his colleagues came to the conclusion that the image with the black Eve was showing a “a scientific problem”10 . Margaretta M. Salinger from the Metropolitan Museum New York reported that the museum staff had never seen “a swarthy Eve” before. She also hinted to the sciences as the key to the painting: “the explorations of the 17th century gave rise to a lively interest in strange lands beyond the sea, and many of these earthly Paradise pictures with exotic animals appear at this time.” She doubted that the painting depicted “The Fall of Man”, as “no serpent or conspicuous apple” was visible. The standing figure on the left she saw as a “savage human”11 .

The interpretation presented here starts from the assumption that the painting is aillustration of a scientific discourse, similar to religious paintings in churches that tell the stories of the Bible to the illiterate12 However, the main aim is not to produce an ultimate reading of the painting – impossible as it is anyway. More importantly, the painting is used as a window into a scientific discourse on human varieties present at the place and the time the painting was made when “all of educated Europe was vibrating with new theories concerning human divisions and the boundaries of humanity”13 . Reports on orangutans, as well as Linnaeus’ inclusion of humans into the animal kingdom, were at the centre of this discussion. Key books contributing to a new understanding of human varieties were published in a short time period after the creation of the painting14 . What do a black Eve and white Adam signify in this context? What do the human-like figures on the left side of the painting represent and refer to? Does the painting show “race crossing in paradise” as Curt Stern assumed?

Four lines of argument are developed and finally amalgamated. The paper starts with the Old Pharmacy in Calw as the place of the painting and its personal basis for the scientific knowledge available here: Four generations of the Gärtner family and their friends were pharmacists, physicians, botanists, and explorers and well connected to the contemporary centres of scientific scholarship. Second, a closer look into Kölreuter’s work on plant hybridisation in Calw reveals a new understanding of heredity. This new understanding promised the possibility to create new varieties and species by crossbreeding (or “bastardisation”), thus challenging until then prevalent notions of preformation. Then, with the help of publications available at the pharmacy in Calw, the scientific debates from that time on skin colour, heredity, human difference, and its compatibility with the Scripture, are reconstructed. Finally, the arguments developed so far are combined with an interpretation of the visual content of the painting. It will be demonstrated that the painting can be seen as representing a debate, in which black and white people were not yet perceived as belonging to different races but as varieties of humanity with a common origin. The painting is interpreted as a representation of an understanding, which was soon to be abandoned to the advantage of a hierarchical concept of racial difference. Ironically, the new concepts of inheritance contributed to the possibility to interpret social and economical differences as naturally given and unsurmountable, they contributed to the naturalisation of human differences as racial differences so extensively pursued in the 19th c.

The international network of pharmacists and physicians that centred on the Gärtner family in Calw

The Old Pharmacy at Calw was a nodal point in a network of scholars from the 18th century who were closely connected all over Europe. They traded knowledge, information, experimental results, plants, drugs, books, and pictures, linking the tiny, but wealthy traders’ town in Württemberg with the hubs of scientific enquiry, from Amsterdam to Leiden, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Nuremberg, and Tübingen. Their contacts went far beyond Europe and included the East Indies, South Africa, South America, and the West Indies via the explorative and trading activities of the Dutch East Indian and West Indian Companies. They also had personal, first-hand information on scientific expeditions to Siberia. The Calw pharmacists were part of a global nexus of trade, commerce, and scientific observation and experimentation, utilizing classification, botany, alchemy, and breeding15 .

It is well known that pharmacists in German countries, from the 17th century onwards, were key promoters of the scientific revolution in their understanding of living organisms through chemistry. They adopted Helmontian ideas and iatrochemical concepts; they were also experimenting in their laboratories, creating new knowledge, inventing new chemical processes and dyes. They were crucial participants in widespread commercial activities, and, at the same time, they faced state authority control due to their essential role in the medical marketplace16 .

Calw was Württemberg’s most important financial and trading centre in the 18th century. Here, wool textiles were produced, dyed, and exported round all of continental Europe. This business had made its citizens rich and allowed the traders to expand their activities into mining, wood export, dyes, metal, and salt import, and finance. Calw’s money was part of the major economic activities in Württemberg at the time, with at least one family having an export office plus a bank in Amsterdam. Ithe mid 17th century, citizens of Calw founded the Zeughandlungskompanie (‘Trading company for wool textiles’)it was dissolved in 1797. The extraordinarily rich members of the company were highly successful in keeping their property within their closely-knit family networks. Membership in this economically active group was granted by birth only, with sons following their fathers in business17 .

The Old Pharmacy at Calw was one of, if not the best pharmacies of the country in the 18th century. It also was a family enterprise that enjoyed the exclusive privilege of the Württemberg prince, which fended off any possible competition in the area18 . The pharmacy was bequeathed via marriage and inheritance to sons in the family, and then finally sold off. In the years after 1700, after French troops destroyed the town, the Pharmacy was built anew by the pharmacist Achatius Gärtner (I) (1662‑1728) who had come for Nuremberg. As a result of his marriage to Maria Elisabeth Mayer, the Calw mayor’s daughter, he became a member of one of Calw’s leading families. The pharmacy in the seven-story house with several attic floors offered enough space to dry and store plants. Gärtner became wholesaler of drugs and other products for the entire region, famous for the plants he grew in his hortis medicus and for the import of medical plants from the East and West Indies19 . Achatius (I) also had the Prince’s official permission to exploit the cobalt and silver mines in nearby Sulzburg, a clear indication of his economic power in the region20 . Due to religious reasons, he declined the invitation to join a Reich’s delegation of pharmacists to visit Spain21 , the centre of new, incoming plants from Central and South America.

He was respected as an expert in Chimicis, namely, Alchemy and Chemistry22 .

Achatius Gärtner (I)’s two sons, Achatius Gärnter (II) (1699-1742) and Joseph Gärtner (I) (1707-1731), three grandsons, Achatius Gärtner (III) (1724-1770), Johann Georg Gärtner (1727-1755) and Joseph Gärtner (II) (1732-1791), and the great grandson, Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (1772-1850), were highly educated people; they studied abroad and became pharmacists, botanists or physicians. The well-run pharmacy in the rich town of Calw produced considerable income, and the wives brought additional wealth into the family. This allowed their sons to travel and study abroad, to Leiden, Amsterdam, Paris, and Italy, with Herman Boerhaave (1668‑1738), Frederic Ruysch (1638‑1731), and others which were important figures in medicine, physiology, and botany, who had a long, lasting impact on their students23 .

 

Table 1 (see: at the bottom of the text) gives an overview of the key male members of the Gärtner family, their education, and their international connections. Joseph Gärtner (II) became a member of the Royal Society in London and a professor at the Academy of Sciences in Petersburg. Carl Friedrich Gärtner (1772‑1850) “became one of the leading plant hybridizers before Mendel”24 . The nearby university of Tübingen offered the latest scholarship in botany, chemistry, and medicine, and the institution was very well connected with other European scientific centres25 . Several professors at Tübingen University came from the Tübingen Gmelin family of pharmacists, who were related via marriage to the Gärtner family. This connection was also an educational and scholarly one that facilitated a direct exchange of the latest scientific advancements. Johann Georg Gmelin (1709‑1755) and his cousin Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin (1744‑1774) were famous explorers of Russia and Siberia. In 1731, Johann became Professor at the Imperial Academy of the Sciences in Petersburg. After 10 years of expeditions, he became a professor of medicine, botany, and chemistry back in Tübingen in 1749. He was also personally acquainted with Carl von Linnaeus from Sweden26

Due to a lack of sources, no information is currently available to determine whether the Gärtner and Gmelin families were pietists27 . They were Protestants, but it remains unclear if they affiliated with the pietists, as many of Württemberg’s priests, physicians, teachers and pharmacists had been since the early 18th century28 . Pietists favoured endogamous marriages, they appreciated the sciences as part of a holistic concept of knowledge (“Erkenntnis”), and they saw nature as the site of God’s Revelation. This perspective at least, also applied to the Gärtner family.

The garden of the Calw Old Pharmacy was used in 1763 by Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter (1733‑1806) for his hybridisation experiments to “establish firmly the existence of sexuality in plants” which “resulted in the first controlled production of plant hybrids”29 . He demonstrated the transmission of paternal traits to the next generation via the male plant’s pollen: this newly found process of fertilisation facilitated a new mixture of maternal and paternal characters in plants30 . This exemplifies that pharmacists were not only interested in methods of growing these plants and in the chemical understanding of their medical use, but also in the active intervention into their reproduction to create new varieties. Kölreuter started a well-known tradition of hybridisation experiments, which are commonly recognised as belonging to the history of genetics31 .

Kölreuter was the son of a Württemberg pharmacist in Sulz, and he knew Achatius Gärtner (III) from their days at university32 . He had studied in Tübingen and StrasburgAt Tübingen Georg Gmelin told him about Camerarius’ earlier work on the sexuality of plants. After being awarded his doctoral degree in Arzneywissenschaft (medicine), Kölreuter became an ‘adjunct’ of the Imperial Academy of the Sciences in Petersburg in 1756. There, he wrote review of Carl von Linnaeus’s paper ‘De Sexu Plantarum’, which Linnaeus submitted in a 1759 competition at the Academy created to provide ‘new evidence and experiments on sexes in plants to prove or disprove if plants can, similar to animals, be divided into male and female ones’. Linnaeus won the prize for the best of three submitted papers. However, this was not ideal in Kölreuter’s eyes, as he felt Linnaeus’s theory to be ‘witty rather than correct’ and the evidence to be ‘doubtful’33 . Kölreuter began his own hybridisation experiments in Petersburg, and he created what he called ‘Bastarte’ (bastards)34 . In 1761, he returned via Leipzig and Berlin to Sulz and then to Calw. There, in 1763, he continued his experiments in Achatius Gärtner (III)’s garden to prove that there were male and female plants both contributing properties to their offspring. In the same year, he was appointed Professor in Natural History at Karlsruhe and Director of the Duke’s Gardens35 .

In 1765, shortly after Kölreuter finished his experiments in the pharmacy’s garden, Achatius Gärtner (III) sold his pharmacy to Carl Engelhard Gaupp (1742 – 1826) who came from a family of pharmacists in Kirchheim unter Teck in Württemberg. In the following year, Joseph Gärtner (II) became the Professor for Botany and Natural History at the Imperial Academy of the Sciences in Petersburg; Kölreuter may have facilitated this move. Gaupp had studied and travelled abroad for six years before moving from Basel to Calw. He constructed a new building in 1770, which housed the two storage rooms with wooden doors decorated by the four paintings (Fig. 2). In addition to his training in pharmacy, Gaupp also studied medicine. He received his medical degree in 1777 and practiced thereafter as physician on the first floor of the pharmacy36 .

Kölreuter’s Bastarte, alchemy, pangenesis and heredity: the production of new varieties and species (1761‑1766)

Kölreuter’s Vorläufige Nachricht von einigen das Geschlecht der Pflanzen betreffenden Versuchen und Beobachtungen (Preliminary news of some experiments and observations concerning the sex of plants), published in four parts (1761, 1763, 1764, and 1766), provides another component for the analysis of the painting depicting a black and white primordial human couple. The publication gives us an impression of Kölreuter’s and his peers’ scientific understanding of generation, fertilisation, and heredity37 . It presents a scholar who meticulously designed and reported experiments, clearly performing at the highest standard of the time. Kölreuter was convinced that all the processes of nature and life could be explained at the purely material level, using (al-)chemy and chemistry. His aim was not only to understand natural processes and demonstrate that there were male and female plants, but also to develop the means to intervene and alter the natural order. After a few years of experimentation Kölreuter discovered what he saw as the possibility to transform existing species into others. He published these surprising results in 1763 and 1766.

Botanists of his time were busy with identifying and classifying plants, which were brought in by explorers and traders. They tried to cultivate and propagate these plants in European gardens38 . For Kölreuter, nature, made by a wise Creator, maintained a most beautiful order. To achieve this order God/nature had placed similar plants in different continents so that Bastart plants could not develop; this way two similar, but different species could not have common offspring39 . The current practice in botanical gardens, however, made it possible that Bastarts came into being as in these gardens plants from all over the world were now living in close proximity. Kölreuter saw similar processes happening in animal gardens as well40 Bastard (or Bastart in Kölreuter’s text) was a term used in German since the 13th century for a son of a male aristocrat with a woman he was not married to41 . This notion of illegitimacy, highly relevant for the order of families and their economies and status in society, was transferred to the offspring of two plants, which belonged, according to their classification, to two different species. In the local Calw network of interrelated families running one big international business enterprise, the issue of illegitimate children was a key issue, resulting in strong mechanisms to control the sexuality of its members42 . In Kölreuter’s text, and in that of some of his contemporaries, one can identify an analogous tension between the need to keep the old order and the desire to reach out for new pleasure. This will be shown below.

Kölreuter, on the one hand, praised the creator’s wisdom in keeping the order (scholars were about to decipher with their taxonomical systems) by making the Bastart infertile. He imagined an “incredible swarm of imperfection” created if those plants were fertile, with “horrible and inevitable consequences”. Yet, he couldn’t give any hypothesis to how this infertility came to be43 .

On the other hand, he was fascinated by the possibility to create new varieties or even new species by artificial fertilisation. In 1749, Johann Georg Gmelin had discussed the question of whether new species could come into being after God’s creation was complete, however, he assumed, it would take years of experimentation to find out44 . Less than 20 years later in the early 1760s, Kölreuter showed that in special cases where some reduced fertility was preserved, the fertilising of the Bastart plant with pollen of the father plant could surpass the infertility and create new fertile plants45 . These new varieties exhibited in certain cases a dramatic morphological change, and Kölreuter presented one newly combined Bastart as a special case of a ‘full metamorphosis in the sense of Ovid’ (von einer ganz ovidischen Verwandlung)46 . In a highly optimistic move, he questioned the old, God-given order of nature and asked: “Why shouldn’t we be able to transform a canary into a linnet?”47 . He compared bastardisation with the efforts of the alchemists to transform lead into gold or gold into lead and proudly declared thatas opposed to the centuries-long, but unsuccessful efforts of the alchemists, he had been able to transform plants in a few years only48 .

His theory of generation and heredity was based on concepts of alchemy and jatrochemistry, looking for purely material explanations49 . To a certain extent, he assumed gender equality in the process of procreation, as he saw both male and female plants producing semen (Saamen). However, the quality of the two semen was different. Kölreuter compared fertilisation to the fusion of acid and alkaline solutions resulting in a third matter, which combined both (parental) matters. This “third matter is, immediately after the fusion, the beginning or the solid basis of a living machine (belebte Maschine), or it generates it (the machine) from itself”50 . A year later, and after having worked in Achatius Gärtner (III)’s garden, transforming the tobacco plant Nicot. rust. into Nicot. panic. and vice versa, he explained the analogy to the alchemist’s transformation further. The male was “of a sulphuric nature and has the power to make the liquid, mercurial female seed fireproof, and to form with it a solid body. It has the ability to change the entire, purely mercurial part of a liquid metal into its own nature, and to absorb all other parts which are not mercurial”51 . In the production of Bastart plants and new varieties, the elements of one plant were successively superseeded by the other52 .

Kölreuter didn’t agree with Carl von Linnaeus’s theory of generation, though. In his 1766 publication, he criticised the “world famous knight, Carl von Linnee” openly for his poor, 1763 description and interpretation of a Bastart plant, based on his “‘fantastic (odd, bizarre)’ theory of generation, which runs “against all experience”53 . What it was exactly that he criticised is not clear. Possibly, it was the very elaborate understanding of the ‘private life of plants’ and their multiplicity of sexualities54 , which did not fit into the strict binary male-female scheme of Kölreuter’s plant sexuality.

Kölreuter belongs to a group of scholars who attributed material semen to both the male and female organism55 . He and his contemporaries, Pierre Louis Maupertuis (1698‑1759) and Julien Offray De La Mettrie (1709‑1751), rejected any form of preformation that believed organisms grow from a minute version found in either the ovary or sperm56 . They saw organisms as machines, either hydraulic or chemical57 . Maupertuis developed the influential new pangenesis concept of heredity. It was based on anatomy, observational practices of his time, particularly the occurrence of albinism in black people, atomistic thought, and animal breeding practices58 . Sheep breeding, with the focus on Merino sheep, was relevant all over Europe including Calw’s wool textile industry, here knowledge on the heritability of certain properties of wool was of highest value59 .

Kölreuter preferred the analogy of acid and alkaline solution producing crystals or salt to describe processes of heredity. His strictly chemical understanding of fertilisation, heredity, and development is important to highlight here. Despite his rootedness in the old alchemical concepts of mercurius and sulphur as the two elements of all matter, he provided lines of thought for later scholars in the search for an understanding of hereditary processes. Kölreuter assumed that plant elements could be inherited independently, like the Gestalt, positioning, number, and proportion of all parts (Ansehung der Gestalt, Lage, Zahl, Proportion aller Theile untereinander selbst). By crossbreeding, the ‘balance’ or ‘harmony’ (Gleichgewicht) could be dissolved60 . This observation was compatible with Maupertuis’ pangenesis, and combined,they provided a Denkfigur that only needed slight alteration to harbour the concepts of Mendelian genetics. Maupertuis’ theory of pangenesis postulated that particles come from all parts of the organism and transmit their properties via the male and female semen to the offspring – the particles went from the body to the semen. In Mendelian genetics, the minute Anlagen, later called genes, were present in the germ cells and transmitted in an uninterrupted genealogy. Distributed via the somatic cell line, these genes caused all properties of the differentiating cells and organs; the particles went from the semen to the body. According to both concepts, these minute inheritable particles could combine independently of each other.

Chemistry was not only the Leitwissenschaft (leading science) for Kölreuter in his understanding of hereditary processes but also a crucial element in the economic development of Kölreuter’s country and hometown. In 1759, citizens of Sulz founded a production plant for cotton fabrics, including facilities that used dyes to print the cotton. There was a keen interest in the craft of dye production, as indicated by one of the owner’s family members travelling for years in the Near East to learn these skills and bring them to Sulz in 1770. The establishment of cotton factories in the Württemberg area was an important economic development in the 1760s61 . The use of dyes and cotton ‘calico printing’ became one of the key innovations of the 18th century. These economic, technological, and scientific activities required the international transfer of goods, skills, and knowledge, as did materia medica of the pharmacists.

The pharmacists in Calw shared Kölreuter’s concentration on chemistry as the key science of the time. This is illustrated by a 1754 inventory of Johann Georg Gärtner’s library (Table 2, see: at the bottom of the text)62 .

This list contains contemporary key books on chemistry, general books on natural history, including Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae, a bibliography on all books in zoology, the London pharmacopoeia, and, amongst other publications, the then popular journal Hamburgisches Magazin with information on recent scientific discoveries and observations63 . Unfortunately there are no inventories of books owned by Achatius Gärtner (III) and Carl Engelhard Gaupp. However, it is safe to assume, given the personal connections and educational and professional networks of the Gärtner family with the Gmelins and Kölreuter, that they shared the knowledge represented in Johann Georg’s library.

The scientific problem of human skin colour, its causes, and heredity

The scientific problem of human skin colour, its causes, and heredity provides the third element needed for the interpretation of the painting showing a white Adam and black Eve. For natural philosophers in the second half of the 18th century, skin colour became the key criterion in the classification of humans, with the resulting groupings of white, yellow, red, and black people64 . Anatomists in the 17th century had started to investigate the various layers of skin composition, with Malpighi being the first to publish his results in 1665, followed by Ruysch in Amsterdam in 171565 . Religious thinkers tried to integrate the reports of European travellers and explorers with the Bible. Here, one key question was how the different skin colours arose66 . Some postulated that Adam was black, or somewhere between white and black. Others saw Cain as the first black man, with blackness being the mark of his crime; Noah’s son Ham was a candidate for the primordial black man to be, with blackness again indicating his sin against his father67 . These questions were intrinsically linked to efforts to legitimate the enslavement of Africans and the new social order in the Spanish colonies in the Americas.

Children of unions between Spanish men and non-Spanish women in colonial Mexico became very early objects of the investigation into the inheritance of skin colour68 . So called “castas paintings” were made since 1711 in Mexico City, with the first showinga ‘Mulatto, daughter of a Black woman and a Spaniard’69 . Subsequent paintings were produced by Mexican artists for Europeans in Spain and were displayed at the Real Gabinete de Historia Natural in Madrid 177170 . These paintings documented the physical appearance of parents and their children. Descent and skin colour were key indicators of the social positioning of individuals in the colonial setting of Mesoamerica and its structural system, known as las castas71 . It is possible, that Achatius Gärtner (I) or his sons learned about these paintings from the Reich’s delegation of pharmacists to Spain, which he did not attend himself despite having been invited. It is also possible that the pharmacists in Calw, including Kölreuter, were familiar with two Spanish publications from 1745 and 1748, which were translated into French in 1758 and 1762.

They included formulas to calculate the contributions of heritable traits of white men and non-white women to the skin colour of their children: ‘1. European x negra = mulata, two-fourths from each parent; 2. European x mulata = quarterona, one-forth of mulata’, etc72 . Here, the equal contribution from both parents to the offspring is assumed, matching perfectly well Kölreuter’s understanding of heredity. Another possible source for hereditary concepts is the anonymously published book by Cornélius de Pauw (1739‑1799) in French and German, Recherches philosophiques sur les Américains. Without ever having been there, de Pauw described in his book the people of the Americas as inferior to Europeans, and he also listed the above-mentioned mathematical charts without referring to their source73 . In 1777, shortly after the Calw painting was made, Buffon published a similar formula with a sequence of four mixed generations of blacks and whites74 .

It is impossible to prove that the Calw scholarly community actually knew these works. They are mentioned here to show that visual and textual representations of human Bastarts (in the sense of Kölreuter) were circulating in European learned communities. The Calw painting was created at the exact time when systematic studies on the offspring of differently-coloured people took off in Europe, followed by efforts in anthropology to legitimate a social order of white/male domination by the use of the category ‘race’, to indicate inborn differences between people75 . One particularily revealing source with regards to the problem of human skin colour was in Johann Georg Gärtner’s posession. In 1754 he owned early volumes of the journal Hamburgisches Magazin, which ran from 1748 to 1763, and were continued as Neues Hamburgisches Magazin from 1767 to 1781. The journal’s general objective was to present “collected works from the natural sciences and general, pleasant sciences to be used for education and pleasure”76 . The magazine presented the most recent scientific debates, experiments, reports on strange diseases and unusual events, and new theories to a wider audience of educated people outside the university and academies. Articles by English, American, and French authors, many of them members of academic societies, were translated into German. The journal also contained translations of articles in the Dictionnaire encyclopédique, reports from expeditions, new sea maps etc. Here Johann Georg Gmelin published his Short Description of Journey to Siberia, and Georg Stahl’s influential medical theory was the subject of a paper in 175377 Other articles presented theories of procreation (Zeugung), as well as theories on dyestuff. The references are meticulously listed, so that all information could be traced to its original source, and the range of topics covered was extensive.

Three publications on human skin colour in the Hamburgisches Magazin provide important clues of how the painting in the Old Pharmacy of Calw can be read. Two of them were published in the first issue of 1748 – indicating that the editors saw them of high relevance for a readership yet to be convinced to subscribe: The German translation of the “Essay on the Causes of the Different Colours of Humans in Different Regions of the World” by Johann Mitchel (sic!), Doctor der Arzneykunst (Doctor of Medicine) and member of the Royal Society of London, residing in England’s colony Urbana in Virginia78 ; and a translated, rather short section from Maupertuis’ 1745 dissertation Vénus physique, which discussed the origin of humans and animals, and the origin of ‘black people’79 . The third paper was that of La Mothe, published ten years later. La Mothe’s text dealt with the question of Adam’s skin colour and discussed especially Maupertuis’ work on the causes of white or freckled skin for “negroes”80 .

It is therefore safe to claim that the early and mid 18th century scientific debate on human skin colour and pangenesis theories of inheritance were known in the Calw network of pharmacists, physicians, and scholars of natural history, and that this might have inspired the painter to situate a black woman and a white man in a paradisiacal environment. One gap in the sources has to be addressed by a speculative yet plausible possibility. It was Achiatius Gärtner (III)’s successor, Gaupp, who most likely commissioned the painting. Under the presumption that he shared the information on the skin colour debate as it is reconstructed here, a consistent and non-contradictory interpretation of the painting is possible. It seems to be justified to assume that in these small towns learned people from the same profession were closely connected, meeting each other and discussing what they were thinking and doing. Before he moved to Calw, Gaupp lived in Basel where Maupertuis had spent his last years. At least on the occasion of Maupertuis’ death in 1759, Gaupp must have heard from the man who had been the president of the Berlin Academy of the Sciences in his earlier years and even pursued an expedition to the Laplands to solve a riddle of the earth’s shape. 

Skin colour difference, yet monogenesis: White Adam, black Eve and the beauty of the black woman

Johann Mitchell (1711‑1768), who was to become famous for his influential map of Eastern North America, believed in monogenesis and a principle sameness of all humans. His 1747 text in the Hamburgische Magazin is rather voluminous and impressive with its combination of theoretical considerations and experimental approach on the causes of the different skin colours. The article was originally published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London in 1744. Distancing himself from Malphigi and his followers, Mitchell claimed that his approach was completely new for two reasons: he used Newton’s latest theory on light and colours and his own microscopic investigation on the skin of living people. Working as a medical provider in Virginia, he had access to African slaves, and indigenous people who suffered skin blisters due to burns or the possibly medical application of Spanish flies81 . He also had experience with cutting the skin of people in the process of bloodletting or “in other circumstances”82 . He rejected the idea of Malpighi and others, that blackness was caused by a particular humour, as it could not be separated or extracted from the skin83 . Mitchell found that black skin was much thicker than that of white people and concluded that it was its thickness, which determined how much light could pass through.

Based on Newton’s hypothesis, that dark bodies absorbed light, it was the middle layer of the skin and its thickness which determined the colour84 . No principle difference was to be found in skins of different colour85 . By introducing this interpretation, Mitchell was able to explain the skin colour of children of white men and black women, and of Native Americans as somewhere in the middle between white and black86 . He concluded

1. That there is not so great, unnatural, and unaccountable a Difference between Negroes and white People, on account of their Colours, as to make it impossible for both ever to have been descended from the same Stock, as some People, unskilled in the Doctrine of Light and Colours, are very apt too positively to affirm, and, without any Scruple, to believe, contrary to the Doctrine (as it seems to be) of the Sacred Pages.

2. That the Epidermis, besides its other Uses, tends to preserve the Uniformity of the Colours of People throughout the World87 .

This was a clear rejection of pre-racial theories of polygenesis, such as Isaac la Peyrère’s late 17th century assumption that there were ‘Pre-Adamites’, people of an inferior status born before Adam, particularly in America88 . According to Mitchell, black and white people had the same origin, brown people and the children of white and black parents had an intermediate skin colour. In a last section of the publication, Mitchell discussed the influence of the sun and living conditions on the colour of people’s skin. He saw geographical properties of the countries and people’s habits influencing the skin texture and colour; he identified heat and dehydration as a cause for thicker skin and used the example of blacksmiths. For his argument, he used the texts of natural philosophers and historians from antiquity, like Plinius and Herodotus, the more recent reports by Leo Africanus89 , and his own observations from North America. He concluded that the habits of people in hot countries helped to increase the darkness of their skin, whereas the habits of the Europeans and other white people contributed “to render their Skins whiter than they otherwise would be90 . Again, he stressed the point, that “black and white People … might very naturally be both descended from one and the same Parents …”91 . The different skins were “most suitable for the Preservation of Health”, and blackness was no consequence of the curse of Ham, but “rather a Blessing, rendering (the Negroes’) Lives … more tolerable and less painful”92 . He saw the whites “degenerated … from the primitive and original Complexion of Mankind … to the worst Extreme, the most delicate, tender and sickly”. For Mitchell, skin colour difference didn’t question a principal sameness of people. The primordial skin colour was “an intermediate tawny Colour”93 . From this stage, the other colours developed, adjusting to the climate. Yet, without explicit mention, he also considered inheritance to have an influence on the skin colour of the children of parents of different colours94 .

His view was contested, though, as La Mothe’s later paper in the magazine indicates95 . Without Mitchell’s meticulous scientific approach, and following the old, geographical explanation for different skin colours, La Mothe claimed that Adam was white, as he was created in that geographical area where no black people lived. Convinced that there were more white than black people, and that black skin could not lighten to white, whereas white skin could become dark, he concluded that white skin was primordial. La Mothe’s account of a broad literature on skin colour features Maupertuis as the most important author who proposed the most comprehensive, general explanation of the origin of black skin and embryos. Maupertuis’ theory led La Mothe to decide that the easiest explanation for the origin of different skin colours was to assume two primordial humans of different skin colours. For La Mothe this solution was in conflict with the Bible and therefore unlikely96 . The painting of 1770 commissioned for the place of Kölreuter’s hybridisation experiments nevertheless chose this solution: the primordial couple differed in skin colour. From a white Adam and a black Eve, humans with all other skin colours would follow.

In 1757, this solution was impossible for La Mothe. He was convinced that Adam and Eve must have been white. However, he did not see black skin as a negative sign and the consequence of the curse of Ham. His argument was striking: black skin could not be a curse, as there are :

negro women, who, due to the dexterity and gracefulness of their bodies, their well proportioned faces, their skin which is delicate and tender like velvet, and due to the most regular and balanced proportions of their bodies could challenge the priority of our most beautiful women97 .

In the papers discussed, black women did not belong to a different ‘kind’ or ‘race’. As Mitchell had argued in 1747, skin colour did not make a principal difference. The authors presented here, like the majority of contemporaries, were convinced that humanity “shared an essential sameness”98 Maupertuis went even further in his Vénus physique and in the part, which was published anonymously in 1747 in the Hamburgisches Magazin99 . Its translation into German clearly shows that the focus of attention was on variety and not on inheritable difference, as the later use of the (French) term ‘race’ in Kant’s tradition implied. Maupertuis’ original text in French used the term ‘race’ for people of different geographical origins with clearly differing physical features, whereas the German translation of Vénus physique used the term ‘Gestalten’, which integrates all physical features of form, texture, etc. The term ‘Gestalt’ did and does not work as synonym for ‘race’ or ‘Rasse’ in German. 

To make his point, Maupertuis mentally travelled through Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Ocean. He described some people, like the Hottentots, as ugly. He imaginatively met giants, small people, and in the forests of Borneo, some inhabitants who resembled humans completely except for their tails. He asked :

Do they have less reason because they carry tails? If being human does not depend on white or black, should some more or less vertebrae then be important?100

He also mentioned nocturnal white people who were active at night only because they couldn’t tolerate the light. He clearly referred to those early reports of the 1740s and 1750s, which Carl von Linnaeus used to divide humans into the subgroups of Homo sapiens, Homo nocturnus or H. troglodytes and Homo caudatus101 .

In 1744‑1745, Maupertuis had used the case of a “white negro” boy who was the son of African slaves in colonial South America, to develop his theory of heredity. For him, the albino child helped to refute the preformation theory. The child’s skin colour demonstrated the inventiveness of nature, as it developed new forms by creating new properties in the semen. The albino condition also helped to support the theory of monogenism, with white skin as the origin of all skin colour102 . Maupertuis praised the possibility of creating new human varieties and the beauty of women of different colour.

His text ends with the hymnic paragraph of an experienced man who has seen the women of the world and knew where they were the most beautiful and most varied: in Paris, of course103 . He didn’t share the exclusive beauty ideal of the white skin of the Northern European woman104 . Maupertuis found that in countries where everyone was white or black, there was too much similarity and he felt that “more mixture would bring forth new beauty”. “At a beautiful summer’s day in the gardens of the Louvre, one could find all the miracles the whole earth brings forward.”

He praised the black-eyed French brunette with the fire of southern beauties, the blue eyes of another one for her tenderness, … and “between all these beauties I have seen green eyes ... which resemble neither the southern nor the northern people… In those gardens there are more beauties than flowers…”105 . One is reminded of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with Maupertuis advising his male readers to collect these beauties, see them all, “but go back to the one and only to enjoy the pleasures which will fill your hearts”106 .

Well-educated men like Maupertuis and François Bernier (1625-1688) used what they saw as female beauty to evaluate people of different colours or complexions, grouped into different “races” or “espèces”107 . In his 1684 text, Bernier spent nearly half of the space praising the beauty of women of different “races”. Maupertuis combined his search for the pleasure that women were supposed to provide with Enlightenment-era theories and debates on whom to call human108 . In this philosophical discourse on human rights, reason and speech were the usual criteria for the inclusion into humanity109 . Accordingly, Maupertuis questioned whether some vertebrae at the end of the spine were so decisive of one’s humanity. For him, exclusion was based on aesthetic criteria, performed by means of sexual exclusion; which, for him, was shown by the example of the Hottentotts110

It was the beauty of women – recognised by him – which made them part of humanity. How to interprete women’s beauty was of considerable debate at the time – ranging from the idea that beauty signified inner values of morality to the rather simple function of beauty as the cause for sexual attraction in the service of reproduction111 . For some Enlightenment thinkers, women did not need reason to be seen as human, and it was not necessary to grant them equal political and personal rights112 . It was the white man’s desire, which made women human. This simultaneous inclusion into humanity without granting human rights is visible in Bernier’s text, who praised the beauty of some enslaved women without questioning the institution of slavery. The praise for the beauty of women of different origins and skin complexions was also part of Maupertuis’ vision of an aesthetically motivated, selective breeding by the dominant group, with all the power of decision-making given to the men113 .

Race Crossing at the Pharmacy?

The last line of arguments to interpret the painting concentrates on its visual elements, beginning with the point previously raised by two art historians in the 1950s. Key features of paintings that would indicate The Fall of Mankind are missing: the snake, the apple, and the tree of knowledge. However, there is enough here to immediately evoke the impression of Paradise before the Fall. The naked couple on the right side alludes to Albrecht Dürer’s famous copper engraving Adam and Eve from 1504, as do other elements: the parrot, the elk, and the chamoix on top of the mountain in the far distance (Fig. 3). The combination of animals sitting peacefully beside one another, like the lion and the lamb, are also typical elements of paradise paintings. However, the polar bear, the monkeys, the crocodiles, and the exotic trees seem to come from reports of explorers’ travels to Africa or America.

Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve (1504)

Fig. 3: Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve (1504)

Elements of Dürer's paradise in the Calw painting: the parrot
Elements of Dürer's paradise in the Calw painting: the elk
Elements of Dürer's paradise in the Calw painting: the ibex

Elements of Dürer's paradise in the Calw painting: the parrot, the elk and the chamois.

The painting shows a wide landscape; its composition strikingly resembles the depiction of the world or God’s creation in the copper engraving ‘Opus tertiae Diei’, (The Work of the Third Day) in Johann Jacob Scheuchzer’s (1672‑1733) Physica Sacra or Copper Bible, published in the 1730s114 (Fig. 4) In this central oeuvre of German physico-theology we also find a seated Adam, who could have served as the model for the white figure in the pharmacy’s painting115 .

Scheuchzer, Kupferbibel: Genesis, cap 1, 3rd Day of Creation
Painting, wood panel, decorating a door in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, Germany, Original at the Stadtmuseum Calw, 'Palais Vischer'

Fig. 4: Scheuchzer, Kupferbibel: Genesis, Chapter I, 3rd Day of Creation compared to the painting in Calw.

The landscape outline in both images, especially the mountains, have similarities.

The frame of Scheuchzer's copper engraving shows the germination and adult form of wheat.

(Fig. 5a, b) The Copper-Bible was well known in the protestant areas of Switzerland, the south of Germany, and the Low Countries; this Bible is a key representative of religious thought which integrated science, its aim was to present how “sacred (natural) science explained the natural phenomena present in the Holy Bible”116 . This synthesis is clearly visible in the copper engraving called Genesis (Fig. 5a): Adam is touched by the heavenly light of reason, and the frame of the image presents the then-famous skeletal arrangements and anatomical specimens by Frederik Ruysch, documenting the growth of the foetus. The combination of elements and genres in the pharmacy’s painting can be interpreted as a similar effort to remain in the biblical framework of the Genesis while integrating the discoveries of the 17th and 18th century. The human couple is placed into God’s creation that they explore; the gesture of Eve’s right hand indicates the connection to God and the understanding that humans are characterised by reason and knowledge, and Adam’s left hand points at the world117 . Seen in combination, all four door panels of the Old Pharmacy address human activities – mining and metallurgy, plant growing, possibly including crossbreeding in the Kölreuter tradition, using boats and hunting animals, and finally, interpreting nature as God’s creation.

Scheuchzer, Genesis, cap. 1, Homo ex humo; Creation and generation of the human
Painting, wood panel, decorating a door in the "Old Pharmacy" in Calw, Germany, Original at the Stadtmuseum Calw, 'Palais Vischer'

Fig. 5a: The frame displays human foetal skeletons and embryonic growth from egg to child (counter clock wise), as they were displayed in specific bone arrangements by F. Ruysch.

This interpretation of the coming into being of humans remains within the paradigm of growth and not yet of development.

The sitting Adam might have served as a model for the Calw painter, as does the general view on the landscape. 

Scheuchzer, Chapter III, Serpens seductor:  Sitting Adam, with Eve offering the forbidden fruit

Fig. 5b: Scheuchzer, Chapter III, Serpens seductor: Sitting Adam, with Eve offering the forbidden fruit

The idea to paint Eve with black and Adam with white skin can be seen as a visual representation of the considerations on the nature of black skin and its inheritance, as proposed by J. Mitchell and Maupertuis  to explain the origin of all possible skin colours humans can have.

To imagine the black and white primordial couple as the parents of people of all skin colours also conforms with Kölreuter’s experiments performed in Calw and his conclusion that both parents contribute semen to the next generation and that it was possible to create new varieties by crossbreeding two existing ones118 . It might be a coincidence but also a deliberate choice by the painter to use all colours from white to black in the mammals from left to right, indicating all possible complexions of human skin and animal coat119 .

One can assume with high certainty that there was a welcoming attitude towards the variety of people, seeing them all as part of humanity. However, taking Maupertuis and Bernier critically, a more sceptical interpretation of the gendered colour distribution seems to be appropriate: variation was seen as being created by the inclusion of attractive women of different origins120 . In the contemporary context of an already ongoing process of colonisation of the Americas, as well as the practice of slave trade and slave ownership, the domination of white over black was gendered as well. It was not arbitrary to paint Eve, and not Adam, with black skin.

The Calw 1770 painting does not represent two races, though, neither does it demonstrate “race crossing” as the geneticist Curt Stern assumed in the 1950s. As mentioned above, “race” (“Rasse”) was not yet part of the German discourse on human variety, it was still an “unstable” category in the French and English context121 . François Bernier was one of the first French authors to use the term ‘race’ in 1684 to describe groups of people in different geographic areas that became known to European travellers, colonizers, and slave traders. He used ‘race’ and ‘espèce’ (species) synonymously122 . In 1748, Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (1707‑1788) used the French term ‘race’ in his Histoire Naturelle to classify different groups of people, selecting the Europeans as the primordial group from which all others descended. In 1735, Carl Linnaeus (1707‑1778) made a decisive step in the history of ‘race’, as he divided humans into four subgroups and classified them as part of the animal class, entitled Quadrupedia123 . In 1758, he devised the term ‘primates’which included humans124 . In 1775, five years after the painting in Calw was made, the German anatomist and anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752‑1840) identified four main groups in humanity in his dissertation De generis humani varietate nativa. He used the Latin term for varieties, and, writing about ‘natural differences of humans’, he criticized slavery and the view that Europeans were superior to Africans125 . His third edition from 1795 introduced the terms Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malay for the five main varieties of humanity, which were still seen as equal and not rigidly divided from one another. This book was posthumously translated into German and published in 1798 with significant additions. The terms “Rasse” or “race” are still not part of the title, “race” is used in the text only when refering to the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1727‑1804) and his use of the French term126 . Based on Maupertuis’ concept of heredity, Kant had introduced the term in 1775 for human subgroups characterised by stable, inheritable traits, like skin colour. He saw the white ‘race’ as the first and superior one, due to the ‘perfection’ (Vollkommenheit) of the white colour and other properties127 . Kant is one of the early authors who don’t appreciate the possibility to improve a population by including beautiful women of other “races” for reproduction – he tended to argue for the preservation of existing races lest degeneration would occur128 .

Considering this shift in the conceptualizing of differences between human subgroups in different geographic areas, the painting at the Calw pharmacy can be identified as belonging to the older discourse of the 18thc., which in principle saw one origin for all humans and appreciated variety. It also belongs to a discourse, which integrated new materialistic concepts of heredity based on breeders’ practices. The painting was made exactly at the time when a fundamental shift happened and – based on exactly the same new concepts of heredity – different human populations could be seen as different races aligned on a hierarchical scale, with mixtures of these races being disapproved of129 .

The painting harbours another conflict line of the changing discourse on human difference. It critically refers to Linnaeus’ inclusion of humans and their subgroups into the animal kingdom, which was the crucial prerequisite for the introduction of ‘race’ as a classificatory category for subgroups of the human species. Linnaeus did not discuss who was to be included into humanity, he classified humans as animals. The contrasting representation of the two figures next to the tree on the left and Adam and Eve on the right holds the key for the interpretation, that the Calw painting didn’t follow Linneaus’ move. 

To identify the two human-like figures on the left, the painter’s un-original way of painting has to be taken into account. As already pointed out regarding Scheuchzer’s Copper Bible, the artist either copied visual material available at the time or translated textual descriptions into images. The boat in the painting depicting animals in the sea seems to be a visualisation of a description of a papyrus boat, and the trees are painted in the style of contemporary exotic paintings in chateaus130 . Most striking is the similarity of the man on the boat to the then famous 16th century Roman fountain sculpture, Neptune and Triton, created by the renowned architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598‑1680). Copper engravings were in wide circulation, showing the sculpture, which the Calw painter could have known131 (Fig. 6)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Neptune (and Triton), (1622-1623)
The man on the boat on the Calw painting

Fig. 6: Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Neptune (and Triton), (1622-1623).

The man on the boat on the Calw painting (see. Fig.2).

The two figures next to the tree on the left can be seen as ‘orangutans’, as they were known at the time. Two engravings circulated in Dutch scholarly circles132 . It is quite likely that these works were also known in the Calw Pharmacy with its educational and trading connections to Amsterdam and Leiden. The standing figure resembles the orangutan as depicted in William Piso’s De Indiae utriusque re naturali et medica libri quatuordecim, published in 1658133 (Fig. 7) The sitting figure resembles a rough copy of the Amsterdam anatomist Nicolas Tulp’s (1593‑1674) orangutan, as published in 1641. (Fig. 8) Tulp provided the first scientific description of an anthropoid ape from Angola. A woodcut copy of Tulp’s image was also published posthumously under the name of the Basel naturalist Conrad Gessner (1516‑1565) in his 1669, third edition of the Thier-Buch134 . Piso’s image originated from travel reports from Borneo, and Carl von Linnaeus used it in the 1750s in his effort to classify humans into subgroups of animals by creating the class ‘primates’135 . In 1760 4 types of anthropomorpha were presented in Linnaeus’ journal Amoenitates Academicae136 . Only one of the figures, “Throglodyta Bontii”, resembles the depiction of an orangutan in Piso/Bontius and in the Calw painting.

Fig.7 Orang Utan, Bontius/Piso (1685)
Fig.8 Homo Sylvestris, Nicolas Tulp (1641)
The figures on the left side of “White Adam, Black Eve”

Fig. 7: Orang Utan, Bontius/Piso, 1685        

Fig. 8: Nicolas Tulp, Homo sylvestris, 1641     

 The figures on the left side of “White Adam, Black Eve”, see Fig. 1.

The two human figures on the right are clearly juxtaposed to the couple on the left: this visual setting indicates that the painter saw a fundamental difference between the two137 . With one person standing and the other sitting, they mirror each other, but Eve’s gesture demonstrates her as in command of reason and knowledge138 . Considering the theme of the universality of gestures, which was developed in the 17th century139 , Eve’s position also indicates that the painting sees black and white people as the same and not separated into two classificatory groups, be it species or subspecies/races.

This clear juxtaposition of the two couples on the left and the right conforms well with a scientific controversy regarding the boundaries of the human and the question of whether these orangutans could be regarded as humans or not. In 1699 the anatomist Edward Tyson (1650‑1708) dissected the animal brought from Angola, which had been depicted by Tulp already in 1641 and in Piso 1658. Tyson identified it as orangutan and as being not human140 . In the 1750s Buffon rejected Carl von Linnaeus‘s inclusion of men in the animal kingdom. He believed that reason made humans fundamentally distinct141 . In 1746, the Tübingen explorer Johann Georg Gmelin strongly criticised Linnaeus for his choice to position humans in the animal group Anthropomorpha142 . Given the family and educational connections of Gmelin with the Calw pharmacists, physicians, and natural historians, the painting can be viewed as an illustration of this anti-Linnaean position, one that criticises the use of zoological classification for humans, which paved the way with further use for humans’ racialization143 .

 

Conclusion: Adam and Eve and the genesis of racial difference

With all points brought together, the painting shows an effort to integrate new scientific findings with the Scripture, to maintain a monogenic origin of humans of all skin colours, and regard humans as fundamentally different from animals. The two orangutans function as a sort of mirror to the human couple and a reminder of the fierce debates of the 18th century on the boundaries between humans and animals.

At the end of the 18th century, the painting was situated at a crucial point of transition: It was still possible to integrate science, Enlightenment, and Christian religious thought so as to view all humans as equal and having a common origin. When skin colour became an inheritable trait, the new pangenetic and materialistic concept of heredity by Maupertuis and Kölreuter’s experiments served as a link connecting the older integrative attitude towards human variation and the new conceptualisation of different human subgroups as races, which then could be subjected to a hierarchical order. This hierarchical order existed already in the social realm of overseas economies – now it could be understood as natural. Differences in economic, political, technological, legal, and military power as already unfolded in systems of slavery and colonial domination became a matter of inborn difference of bodies, given by nature or God and subject to scientific justification.

Appendix

Table 1: The Gärtner-Gmelin family, education and international connections, first generation
Table 1: The Gärtner-Gmelin family, education and international connections, second generation
Table 1: The Gärtner-Gmelin family, education and international connections, third generation
Table 1: The Gärtner-Gmelin family, education and international connections, fourth generation
Table 1 - footnotes
Table 2:  Johann Gärtner’s library in 1754

Acknowledgment: 

I wish to thank for their support, critical comments, and enlightening information: Harold Cook, Brown University; Florike Egmond, Leiden Univ.; Christiane Eifert, FU Berlin; Christine Hauskeller, Univ. Exeter; Gerlinde Hövel, Witten; Ursula Klein, MPI History of Science, Berlin and Avi Lifschitz, Oxford University. My brother, the art historian Georg Satzinger, Friedrich Wilhelm Universität Bonn, helped by giving rapid access to relevant knowledge of his field. Michael Stanley Baker, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, and Christina Wheeler, Berlin, contributed their skills as native speakers and professional proofreaders. Gisela Lemm, Berlin, facilitated the contact to crucial people in Calw, starting with Elfriede Berner who contacted Lena Wörsdörfer from the Stadtarchiv and Stadtmuseum Calw. Lena Wörsdörfer and K. Meiritz kindly sent me archival materials concerning the Apotheke and copies of the images. Veronika Lipphardt, Freiburg, helped me years ago to gain access to the folder “Race Crossing in Paradise” in the Curt Stern papers at the archive of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, USA. In 2014-2015 the stay as visiting scholar at the research group “Twentieth Century Histories of Knowledge about Human Variation” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin finally gave me the necessary time for research and opportunities for inspiring discussions about this puzzling painting. The institute’s library provided a fantastic supply of literature necessary for this project. I wish to thank them for their invaluable support. Last but not least, my thanks goes to Erika Hickel, who taught me the history of science and, in particular, the relevance of the pharmacists’ (Apotheker) profession in this history. I dedicate this paper to her.

Helga Satzinger.

Déplier la liste des notes et références
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1

Peter Hartwig Graepel, “Allegorische Darstellung der drei Naturreiche in einer Apothekenmaterialkammer des 18. Jahrhunderts,” Deutsche Apothekerzeitung,120 (1980): 1056-58, on 1056. 

Graepel uses the headdress of the women and the history of the pharmacy to date the paintings.

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2

Hans Martin von Erffa, Ikonologie der Genesis. Die christlichen Bildthemen aus dem alten Testament und ihre Quellen. Vol. 1 (München: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1989) does not spend one word on the skin colour of Adam and Eve, nor on any possible difference in skin colour. Biblical lore held that the first black human after Adam and Eve was Ham, the son of Noah, who was cursed because of his misbehaviour and therefore became black. He was followed by the queen of Saba described as being dark and beautiful in the Song of Songs by Solomon.

 

Anna Greve, Farbe – Macht – Körper. Kritische Weißseinsforschung in der europäischen Kunstgeschichte (Karlsruhe: Scientific Publishing, 2013), 123‑24.

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3

The Deutsche Apotheken-Museum Heidelberg does not know of comparable images on doors or furniture in pharmacies of the time. Anne Roestel, e-mail correspondence with author, 29 Jan 2015.

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4

Peter Hartwig Graepel, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Alten Apotheke Calw. Die Privilegien der Alten Apotheke Calw. Der Briefwechsel von Achatius und Johann Georg Gärtner mit Johann Ambrosuis Beurer. Gladenbacher Beiträge zur Geschichte des deutschen Apothekenwesens, no. 2 (2013), 58‑9;

 

Graepel, “Allegorische Darstellung” (ref. 1);

 

Peter Hartwig Graepel, Die Gärtner-Gedenkstätte im Museum der Stadt Calw. Bahnbrechende Arbeiten auf dem Gebiet der Früchte - und Samenforschung, der Blütenbiologie und der Pflanzenbastardierung, Kleine Reihe Vol. 3 (Calw: Museum der Stadt Calw, 1991).

 

The paintings are now held at the Calw city museum Palais Vischer. 

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5

Curt Stern and Gertrud Belar, “Race Crossing in Paradise?” The Journal of Heredity, 49 (1953): 154‑55;

 

Curt Stern, “The Biology of the Negro. In America, the continuing amalgamation of Africans, Caucasians, and Indians is forming a people of mixed genetic character. Centuries hence, students may ask: ‘What became of the Negro?’” Scientific American, 191 (1954): 80‑5.

 

Werner Sollors, Neither Black nor White, Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1997), 34, refers to this paper and Graepel, Die Gärtner-Gedenkstätte (ref. 4).

He uses the painting and two textual descriptions of Adam and Eve as different; they “establish a myth of origins that harmonizes a biblical theme with modern scientific interest in rules of descent that was to culminate in Gregor Johann Mendel’s work in the ratio of possible combinations.” Sollors does not go further into the context of the painting’s creation and does not provide an interpretation.

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6

For marriage bans in the various states of the USA see: James R. Browning, “Anti-Miscegenation Laws in the United States”, Duke Bar Journal, 1 (1951): 26-41.

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7

Curt Stern papers; file: Race Crossing in Paradise 1954, in: Archives of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia; in the following abbreviated to CSP-APS.

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8

APS-CSP, Mrs. Thornton W. Burnet to Curt Stern, 29 Dec 1952.

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9

APS-CSP, Charles W. Richards to Curt Stern, 4 Nov 1954.

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10

APS-CSP, Frh. von Erffa to Curt Stern, 21 Feb 1955:  “bei dem Bild mit der schwarzen Eva [handelt es sich] um eine naturwissenschaftliche und nicht um eine farbensymbolische Fragestellung.”

Retour vers la note de texte 5330

11

APS-CSP, Margaretta M. Salinger to Curt Stern, 30 Dec 1954.

Retour vers la note de texte 5334

12

For the considerations of a current “Bildwissenschaft“ and investigation of visual culture, see: Marius Rimmele, Klaus Sachs-Hombach, and Bernd Stiegler, eds., Bildwissenschaft und Visual Culture (Bielefeld: transcript, 2014).

Ideas formulated in this context influence the way I read the pharmacy’s painting.  

Retour vers la note de texte 5331

13

Shulamit Volkov, “Exploring the Other. The Enlightenment’s Search for the Boundaries of Humanity,” in Demonizing the Other. Antisemitism, Racism and Xenophobia, ed. Robert S. Wistrich (New York: Routledge, 1999), 148‑67, on 154‑55.

Retour vers la note de texte 5332

14

David Bindman, Ape to Apollo. Aesthetics and the Idea of Race in the 18th century (London: Reaktion Books 2002). 

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15

On the Gärtner family cf. the already mentioned publications by Graepel.

 

For the transfer of spices, drugs and plants in general in the 17th and 18th century, cf. Londa Schiebinger and Claudia Swan, eds., Colonial Botany. Science, Commerce, and Politics in the Early Modern World (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2005).

 

For the connection of trade and the development of science: Harold Cook, Matters of Exchange. Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age (New Haven, London: Yale Univ. Press 2007).

 

For botany: Staffan Müller-Wille, Botanik und weltweiter Handel. Zur Begründung eines natürlichen Systems der Pflanzen durch Carl von Linné (1707‑1778) (Berlin: VWB, 1999). 

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16

Erika Hickel, Die Arzneimittel in der Geschichte. Trost und Täuschung – Heil und Handelsware, (Nordhausen: Traugott Bautz, 2008), 251‑329.

 

Erika Hickel, “Der Apothekerberuf als Keimzelle naturwissenschaftlicher Berufe in Deutschland,” Pharmazie in unserer Zeit, 6 (1977): 14‑22.

“Apotheker” are not equivalent to apothecaries, see Erika Hickel, Arzneimittel-Standardisierung im 19. Jahrhundert in den Pharmakopoeen Deutschlands, Frankreichs, Großbritanniens und der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika (Stuttgart: Wiss. Verl.-Ges., 1973);

 

Ursula Klein, “Apothecary’s Shops, Laboratories and Chemical Manufacture in Eighteenth-Century Germany,” in The Mindful Hand. Inquiry and Invention from the late Renaissance to early Industrialisation, ed. Lissa Roberts, Simon Schaffer, and Peter Dear,(Amsterdam: Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, 2007), 246‑76.

 

On the education of “Apotheker” see: Ursula Klein, “Apothecary-Chemists in Eighteenth-Century Germany,” in New Narratives in Eighteenth Century Chemistry, ed. Lawrence M. Principe (Dordrecht: Springer, 2007), 97‑137; 

 

Ursula Klein, “Blending technical innovation and learned natural knowledge: the making of ethers,” in Materials and Expertise in Early Modern Europe: Between Market and Laboratory, ed. Ursula Klein und Emma C. Spary (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010), 125‑57.

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17

Reiner Flik, Die Textilindustrie in Calw und Heidenheim 1750‑1850. Eine regional vergleichende Untersuchung zur Geschichte der Frühindustrialisierung und der Industriepolitik in Württemberg. Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte, Beiheft 57, ed. Hans Pohl und Wilhelm Treue (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1990), 1, 124;

 

Graepel, “Beiträge” (ref. 4), 25‑7; Peter Hartwig Graepel, Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (1772‑1850). Familie – Leben – Werk. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Sexualtheorie und der Bastarderzeugung im Pflanzenreich (Marburg, Inauguraldissertation, 1978).

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18

Graepel, “Friedrich von Gärtner”, gives the most detailed history of the pharmacy and the Gärtner family.

Retour vers la note de texte 5338

19

Armin Wankmüller, “Vorwort,” Beiträge zur Württembergischen Apothekengeschichte, 1 (1950): 5-21, on 17‑9;

 

Graepel, Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (ref.17), 14‑5; Graepel, “Beiträge” (ref. 4), 37‑44.

Retour vers la note de texte 5339

20

Graepel, Gärtner-Gedenkstätte (ref.4), 13.

Retour vers la note de texte 5340

21

Wankmüller, “Vorwort” (ref. 19), 18. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5341

22

Graepel, “Beiträge” (ref. 4), 42.

Retour vers la note de texte 5355

23

Graepel, Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (ref. 17),33‑9.

Retour vers la note de texte 5342

24

Stern and Belar, “Race Crossing” (ref. 5), 154;

 

Graepel, Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (ref. 17).

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25

Cf. Helmuth Albrecht, ed., Schwäbische Forscher und Gelehrte. (Leinfelden-Echterdingen: DRW-Verlag Weinbrenner, 1992).

 

Regarding the first work on plant sexuality, cf. Sabine Sander, “Rudolph Jacob Camerarius,” in Schwäbische Forscher, ed. Albrecht, 40‑5.

Retour vers la note de texte 5344

26

Klaus Dobat, “Johann Georg Gmelin und Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin. Zwei Schwaben in Russland,” in Schwäbische Forscher, ed. Albrecht, 46‑52.

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27

Graepel is surprisingly silent on this point in all his mentioned publications.

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28

Ulrike Gleixner, PIetismus und Bürgertum. Eine historische Anthropologie der Frömmigkeit, Württemberg 17‑19. Jahrhundert, (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005), 64‑7, 123-26.

Retour vers la note de texte 5347

29

Stern and Belar, “Race Crossing” (ref. 5), 154;

 

Graepel, C. F. von Gärtner. Familie (ref. 17).

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30

Fritz von Wettstein, “Joseph Gottlieb Koelreuter (sic!),” Die Naturwissenschaften 21 (1933): 309‑10.

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31

Hans Stubbe, Kurze Geschichte der Genetik bis zur Wiederentdeckung der Vererbungsregeln Gregor Mendels (Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1963), 71‑100;

 

Wettstein, “Josef Gottlieb” (ref. 30);

 

Ernst Mayr, “Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter’s Contributions to Biology,” OSIRIS 2 (1986): 135‑76; 

 

Brenner’s Encyclopedia of Genetics, 2nd ed. Vol. 4, sv. “Koelreuter, Joseph Gottlieb,” by Staffan Müller-Wille;

 

Staffan Müller-Wille and V. Orel, “From Linnaean Species to Mendelian Factors: Elements of Hybridism, 1751‑1870,” Annals of Science, 64 (2007): 171‑215.

Retour vers la note de texte 5350

32

All information on Kölreuter in Peter Hartwig Graepel, “Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter,” in Schwäbische Forscher, ed. Albrecht, 67‑71.

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33

E. G. Bobrov, “On the works by and on Linné published in Russia and the Soviet Union,” in: Linnaeus. Progress and Prospects in Linnaean Research, ed. Gunnar Broberg (Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell, 1980), 265-75, on 267. – I wish to thank the historian of pharmacy, Gerlinde Hövel, Witten, for drawing my attention to this paper.

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34

On the meaning of Bastart see below. I use the German term as used by Kölreuter in italics.

Retour vers la note de texte 5353

35

Graepel, “Beiträge” (ref. 4) 57‑8; Wettstein, “Joseph Gottlieb” (ref. 30), 309.

Retour vers la note de texte 5354

36

Graepel, “Beiträge” (ref. 4), 58‑60.

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37

Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter, Vorläufige Nachricht von einigen das Geschlecht der Pflanzen betreffenden Versuchen und Beobachtungen, nebst Fortsetzungen 1‑3, (1761‑1766). (Reprint as part of the series, W. Pfeffer, ed., Klassiker der exakten Wissenschaften, (Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann, 1893)).

 

- For a detailed account of Kölreuter’s work from the positivist perspective of a geneticist, see Mayr, “Joseph Gottlieb“ (ref. 31);

 

Stubbe, Kurze Geschichte (ref. 31), 71‑83;

 

Graepel, Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (ref. 17), 198‑215;

 

Müller-Wille, “Koelreuter” (ref. 31);

 

Müller-Wille and V. Orel, “From Linnaean Species” (ref. 31), 182‑86.

Both texts are very similar and concentrate on the problem of species. They don’t mention the alchemistic framework of Kölreuter’s work, his experiments on tobacco plants, and their role in the transformation of species. They overlook that the garden was part of the pharmacy, and they get some of the Gärtner family connection wrong.

 

- For the concepts of Carl von Linnaeus, see: Staffan Müller-Wille, “Figures of Inheritance, 1650–1850,” in Heredity produced, ed. Staffan Müller-Wille and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2007), 177‑205, on 182‑86.

Retour vers la note de texte 5357

38

Cf. Staffan Müller-Wille, “Gardens of Paradise,” Endeavour 25 (2001): 49‑54.

Retour vers la note de texte 5358

39

Interestingly, Mayr, “Joseph Gottlieb“ (ref. 31) does not mention the term bastart or bastard – he calls these plants ‘hybrids’, as contemporary geneticists do.

Retour vers la note de texte 5359

40

Kölreuter, Vorläufige Nachricht (1761) (ref. 27)29. All translations, if not indicated otherwise, by author.

Retour vers la note de texte 5360

41

Friedrich Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache. (Berlin, New York: De Gruyter, 1995).

 

Grimm, Jacob: Deutsches Wörterbuch.(Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1854), here additional synonyma for “Bastart” (sic!) are given: “unpure products, fake products, and fabrics, ‘Mischlinge’, ‘Blendlinge’”. 

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42

Joseph Gärtner (II) did legitimize his two sons born out of wedlock, but his family fought hard to overcome this and get hold of his fortune after his death.

Graepel, Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (ref. 17), 57‑79. - The issue of children of unmarried women and their right to inherit property from their fathers was a highly contested one in late 18th and early 19th centuries. 

 

In 1791, Olympe de Gouge (1748‑1793) demanded in her Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne freedom of speech for women, so that they could name the fathers of their children. In her proposed contract of marriage, she advocated the right of children to inherit from both their parents, independent of their marital status.

 

The Code Napoleon, which became influential in large parts of Europe from early 19th century onwards, denied unmarried women the right to name the father of their children.

 

In England, the ‘bastardy clause of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act removed any obligation of support from the father’, changing the law in favour of men, to keep their property within the ‘legitimate’ family and independent of the consequences of their sexual activities and desires. Margot Finn, Michael Lobban and Jenny Bourne Taylor, “Introduction: Spurious Issues”, in: Legitimacy and Illegitimacy in Nineteenth-Century Law, Literature, and History, ed. Finn, Lobban and Taylor (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 1‑24, on 5.

– No consideration of the child out of wedlock is given by David Sabean, “From Clan to Kindred: Kinship and the Circulation of Property in Pre-modern and Modern Europe,” in Heredity produced, ed. Müller-Wille and Rheinberger, 37‑59.

 

In the colonial setting the ‘bastard’ was of utmost relevance, as this ‘illegitimate’ offspring of relations of male colonisers with female colonised created numerous loyalty conflicts. See for the case of the Spaniards and the casta system in Mexico, Verena Stolcke, “Invaded Women. Gender, Race, and Class in the Formation of Colonial Society,” in Women, “Race”, and Writing in the Early Modern Period, ed. Margo Hendricks and Patricia Parker (London: Routledge, 1994), 272‑86.

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43

Kölreuter, Vorläufige Nachricht (ref. 37), 44, 45.

Retour vers la note de texte 5363

44

Stubbe, Kurze Geschichte (ref. 31), 77.

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45

Kölreuter, Vorläufige Nachricht (ref. 37), 86‑9.

Retour vers la note de texte 5367

48

Ibid., (1766), 166. He mentions, that 5 years ago he wouldn’t have imagined that this transformation was possible.

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49

Ibid., (1763), 41. Müller-Wille, “Koelreuter” (ref. 31) and Müller-Wille and Orel, “From Linnaean Species” (ref. 31) do not discuss this part of Kölreuter’s understanding of the plants’ processes.

Retour vers la note de texte 5370

51

Ibid., (1764) 87‑9; translation as given in Mayr, “Josef Gottlieb” (ref. 31), 143.

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54

Londa Schiebinger, “The private life of plants. Sexual politics in Carl von Linnaeus and Erasmus Darwin,” in Science and Sensibility. Gender and Scientific Enquiry, 1780‑1945, ed. Marina Benjamin (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991), 121‑43.

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55

This view differed form the important Aristotelian hierarchical binary of female matter and superior male form. Nevertheless, Kölreuter agreed with Aristotle in his rejection of concepts of preformation.

Retour vers la note de texte 5375

56

Cf. Mayr, “Joseph Gottlieb“ (ref. 31),143‑48. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5376

57

Ilse Jahn, “Biologische Fragestellungen in der Epoche der Aufklärung (18. Jh.),” in Geschichte der Biologie, ed. Ilse Jahn (Jena, Stuttgart: Gustav Fischer 1998), 231-73, on  262-66.

Retour vers la note de texte 5377

58

Mary Terrall, The Man who Flattened the Earth: Maupertuis and the Sciences in the Enlightenment. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002)199‑226;

 

Mary Terrall,  “Speculation and Experiment in Enlightenment Life Sciences”, in Heredity produced, ed. Müller-Wille and Rheinberger, 253-75;

 

Andrew Curran, “Rethinking Race History. The Role of the Albino in the French Enlightenment Life Sciences,” History and Theory, 48 (2009): 151‑179; 

 

Bentley Glass, “Maupertuis, Pioneer of Genetics and Evolution,” in Forerunners of Darwin, 1745‑1859, ed. Bentley Glass, Owsei Temkin, and William L. Straus, Jr., (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1959), 51‑83.

In this hagiographic account, emphasis is put on Maupertuis’ breeding experiments and statistical analysis of a family with polydactyly, concluding that this special character was transmitted by inheritance and did not occur randomly. 

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59

Roger J. Wood, “The Sheep Breeders. View of Heredity Before and After 1800,” in Heredity produced, ed. Müller-Wille and Rheinberger, 229‑50.

 

Flik,Textilindustrie (ref. 17), 221‑22.

– See f.e.:  “M. Schlettweins Abhandlung, wie man die Schafwolle verbessern soll. Aus dem Lateinischen,” Hamburgisches Magazin 19 (1757): 170‑88.

– However, Calw’s efforts to produce a suitable “Bastardschaf” were not very successful, as they could not compete with the UK in the long run, and the wool markets in Italy collapsed due to political reasons.

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60

Kölreuter, Vorläufige Nachricht (ref. 37), 220.

Retour vers la note de texte 5380

61

Flik,Textilindustrie (ref. 17), 117‑30.

Retour vers la note de texte 5381

62

Zubrings-Inventarium Johann Georg Gärtner und Ehefrau Maria Regina geb. Sigelin, 24 July 1754. Stadtarchiv Calw.

Retour vers la note de texte 5382

63

Hamburgisches Magazin, oder gesammlete Schriften zum Unterricht und Vergnügen aus der Naturforschung und den angenehmen Wissenschaften überhaupt[Online],  A. G. Kästner und J. A. Unzer (eds.), Hamburg u. Leipzig, G. C. Grund u. A. H. Holle, 1 (1748) – 26 (1762/63).

Retour vers la note de texte 5383

64

Renato G. Mazzolini, “Die Hautfarben-Symbolik in der europäischen Wissenschaft zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts,” in Der fragile Körper. Zwischen Fragmentierung und Ganzheitsanspruch, ed. Elena Agazzi and Eva Koczinszky (Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2005), 255‑65, on 255‑56.

Retour vers la note de texte 5384

65

Renato G. Mazzolini, “Anatomische Untersuchungen über die Haut der Schwarzen, 1700-1800,” in Die Natur des Menschen. Probleme der physischen Anthropologie und Rassenkunde (1750–1850), ed. Gunter Mann and Franz Dumont (Stuttgart: Fischer, 1990), 169‑87, on 165‑78.

 

For the English situation cf. Cristina Malcolmson, Studies of Skin Colour in the Early Royal Society: Boyle, Cavendish, Swift, (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2013).

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66

Colin Kidd, The Forging of Races. Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000. (Cambridge: CUP, 2006).

– To explain where Cain’s wife came from, Isaac la Peyrère postulated as the first European author that there were ‘men before Adam’ and developed a ‘polygenetic account of human origins’.

This work was used to justify racist exploitation of Africans and Americans.

 

Richard H. Popkin, Isaac la Peyrère (1596–1676). His Life, Work and Influence. (Leiden, New York: Brill, 1987).

Retour vers la note de texte 5386

67

Kidd, Forging,(ref. 66), 31-5.

Retour vers la note de texte 5387

68

Magali M. Carrera, Imagining Identity in New Spain. Race, Lineage and the colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003). 

Retour vers la note de texte 5388

69

María Elena Martínez, Genealogical Fictions. Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico, (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 2008), 230.

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70

Renato G. Mazzolini, “Las Castas: Interracial Crossing and Social Structure, 1770‑1835,” in Heredity Produced, ed. Müller-Wille and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007), 349‑73. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5390

71

Ibid., 351. These formulas persisted for a long time – the ratios were used in the 1935 Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany to identify people as Jewish according to their ancestry, to exclude them from citizenship and to introduce marriage bans according to the status as “Jew”, “half-Jew”, “quarter Jew” etc..

Retour vers la note de texte 5394

75

Ibid., 365;

 

Nicholas Hudson, “From ‘Nation’ to ‘Race’: The Origin of Racial Classification in Eighteenth-Century Thought,” Eighteenth Century Studies, 29 (1996): 247‑64;

 

Volkov, “Exploring” (ref. 13); Bindman, Ape to Apollo (ref. 14). 

Retour vers la note de texte 5396

76

Journal subtitle: “Hamburgisches Magazin, oder gesammlete Schriften, zum Unterricht und Vergnügen, aus der Naturforschung und den angenehmen Wissenschaften überhaupt”. Translation by author.

Retour vers la note de texte 5397

77

Johann Georg Gmelin, “Kurzgefaßte Reisebeschreibung nach Siberien (sic!),” Hamburgisches Magazin, 5 (1750): 225‑46;

 

Joh. Aug. Unzer III. “Betrachtungen über des sel. Herrn Hofraths Stahls theoretischen Grundsatz in der Arztneywissenschaft,” Hamburgisches Magazin, 10 (1753): 400‑21.

Retour vers la note de texte 5398

78

Johann Mitchel (sic!), “Versuch von den Ursachen der verschiedenen Farben der Menschen, in verschiedenen Weltgegenden, von Johann Mitchel, der königl. Gesellschaft in London mitgetheilet, durch Peter Collinson, und bey verschiedenen Zusammenkünften vorgelesen. Aus den Philosophical Transact. No. 474. – Fortsetzung der im 3ten Stücke pag. 266 abgebrochenen Betrachtung über die verschiedenen Farben der Menschen ... und deren Ursache ... aus der 474 Num. der Philosophical Transact. übersetzt,” Hamburgisches Magazin,1(1747): 235‑66, 378‑98.

 

Original: John Mitchell, P.Collinson, “An Essay upon the Causes of the Different Colours of People in Different Climates; By John Mitchell, M.D. Communicated to the Royal Society by Mr. Peter Collinson, F.R.S.,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 43 (1744): 102‑50. doi:10.1098/rstl.1744.0033

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79

Anonymous (Maupertuis), “Anmerkungen über die verschiedenen Gestalten der Menschen nach Gegenden, so sie auf der Erde bewohnen. Aus dem ersten Capitel des zweyten Theils der Venus Physique übersetzt, ”Hamburgisches Magazin, 1 (1747): 44‑50.

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80

La Mothe, “Versuch einer Erklärung der Ursache der Farbe bey den Schwarzen überhaupt und bei den weißen oder buntfleckigen Negern insonderheit. ... übersetzt und mit Anmerkungen erläutert von Joh. Georg Krüniz,” Hamburgisches Magazin, 19 (1757): 376‑407.

– La Mothe was “Parlementsadvocat” at Bourdeux, ibid., 377.

The original French text was published in the Bibliothèque impartiale, 1752.

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81

Powdered beetles containing cantharidin were used as a medical treatment to create blisters for purgative purposes or as an aphrodisiac.

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82

There is no information available on the circumstances of Mitchell’s investigation; no interpretation is possible regarding the question of whether his practices can be seen as normal medical intervention or as problematic medical experimentation. 

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83

Mitchel (sic!), “Versuch von den Ursachen” (ref. 79), 245.

Retour vers la note de texte 5407

87

Mitchell, “Essay,” (English original, 1744) (ref. 79), 131. Capitals and italics as in original.

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88

Popkin, Isaac la Peyrère (ref. 66).  

Retour vers la note de texte 5409

89

Cf. Natalie Zemon Davis, Trickster Travels. In Search of Leo Africanus, A Sixteenth-Century Muslim between Worlds (London: Faber and Faber, 2007).

Retour vers la note de texte 5410

90

Mitchell, “Essay” (ref. 79), 138.

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95

La Mothe, “Versuch” (ref. 81).

Retour vers la note de texte 5418

98

Cf. Curran, “Rethinking” (ref. 58), 152.

 

Mechthild Fend, Fleshing out Surfaces. Skin in French Art and Medicine 1650-1850. (Manchester: MUP 2017) 159, also sees that in pre-revolutionary France “skin colour (was not generally accepted) as distinctive marker of human variation”.

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99

Anonymous (Maupertuis), “Anmerkungen“ (ref. 80). Translation by author. Comments on the full text of Vénus physique and its literal style see Terrall, The Man (ref. 58).

However, she doesn’t point out the issues I find the most striking. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5420

100

All quotes in Anonymous (Maupertuis), “Anmerkungen” (ref. 80), 46. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5421

101

Gunnar Broberg, “Homo sapiens. Linnaeus’s Classification of Man,” in Linnaeus. The Man and his Work, ed. Tore Frängsmyr (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1983), 156‑94, on 175‑87. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5422

102

Ibid, 184;

 

Terrall, The Man (ref. 58), 207;

 

Curran, “Rethinking” (ref. 58).

Retour vers la note de texte 5423

103

Terrall, The Man, (ref. 58), 2, sees him as ‘a man about town, even a libertine’, active in the salons de Paris. 

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104

Fend (ref. 99), 142-3, sees this ideal as universal in art literature at the time.

Retour vers la note de texte 5425

105

Anonymous (Maupertuis), “Anmerkungen” (ref. 80), 49.

Retour vers la note de texte 5426

106

Ibid. All quotes above translated by the author.

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107

They use the french term “race”, Bernier did not discriminate between “espèce” (species) and “race”.

François Bernier: “Nouvelle division de la Terre, par les différentes Espèces ou Races d’hommes qui l’habitent, envoyée par un fameux Voyageur à Monsieur – à peu près en ces termes”. Journal des Sçavans, 12 (1684): 148‑55.

Reprint in: Concepts of Race in the Eighteenth Century, edited and introduced by Robert Bernasconi. (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2001) Vol. 3.

Retour vers la note de texte 5428

108

Volkov, “Exploring” (ref. 13).

Retour vers la note de texte 5429

109

Avi Lifschitz, “Natur und menschliche Kultur: Diskussionen um Sprache und Entwicklung des Menschen im Zeitalter der Aufklärung,” Aufklärung. Interdisziplinäres Jahrbuch zur Erforschung des 18 Jh. und seiner Wirkungsgeschichte, 25 (2013): 51-71.

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110

Curran, “Rethinking” (ref. 58), 161‑2.

Retour vers la note de texte 5431

111

Bindman, Ape to Apollo (ref. 14), 12, 47-50.

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112

Enlightenment thinkers like Immanuel Kant didn’t concede women legal equality to men. Within marriage, women had to be subordinate, to give men the power of decision.

 

See also Olympe de Gouge’s intervention in 1792 to demand equal rights for women as citizens.

Retour vers la note de texte 5433

113

Elsa Dorlin, La matrice de la race. Généalogie sexuelle et coloniale de la nation française, (Paris: Éditions la Découverte, 2006) 210-30.

 

In the part of Vénus physique that was not published by the Hamburgische Magazin, Maupertuis even fantasised about ‘”Sultans” who oversaw the creation of new beauties in a multi-ethnic seraglio’.

 

Curran, “Rethinking” (ref. 58), 158.

On the same line, identifiying the ideal of improving the population by crossbreeding with beautiful women from abroad, see Susanne Lettow, “Improving Reproduction: Articulation of Breeding and ‘Race-Mixing’ in French and German Discourse (1750-1800)”, in The Secrets of Generation: Reproduction in the long 18th Century, eds. Ray Stephanson and Darren Wagner (Toronto: Univ. of Toroto Press, 2015), 120-40. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5434

114

Johann Jacob Scheuchzer, Kupfer-Bibel, In welcher die Physica Sacra, Oder Geheiligte Natur-Wissenschaft Derer In Heil. Schrift vorkommenen Natürlichen Sachen, Deutlich erklärt und bewehrt (...), (Augsburg, Ulm: Christian Ulrich Wagner, 1731‑1735), (Reprint of selected plates: Hans Krauss, ed., Physica Sacra des Johann Jacob Scheuchzer (1672‑1733), (Konstanz: Universitätsverlag, 1984)), 15.

Retour vers la note de texte 5435

115

Krauss, Physica (ref. 115), 17, 21.

Retour vers la note de texte 5436

116

Irmgard Müsch, Geheiligte Naturwissenschaft. Die Kupfer-Bibel des Johann Jakob Scheuchzer (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2000).

Retour vers la note de texte 5437

117

To interpret the gestures, I follow Ulrich Rehm, Stumme Sprache der Bilder. Gestik als Mittel neuzeitlicher Bilderzählung (München: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2002), 352. Rehm sees this meaning as developed in Renaissance painting.

Retour vers la note de texte 5438

118

It is important to keep in mind, that “species” and “race” and “variety” are not yet clear cut categories. Even today the criterium of common fertility to identify members of one species is not as reliable at it seems. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5439

119

The features of Eve’s face and hair don’t differ from contemporary portraits of people from Africa. The wide range of colours in the painting – from black to nearly white in Adam’s skin and the polar bear’s coat – helps to exclude the rather mundane possibility that Eve’s dark complexion is a result of the darkening of the pigment white lead. There is no reason to assume that the painter used this pigment for Eve only. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5440

120

Cf. Lettow, “Improving Reproduction” (ref. 114).

Retour vers la note de texte 5441

121

Hudson, “From ‘Nation’” (ref. 75); 

 

Robert Bernasconi, “Who Invented the Concept of Race? Kant’s Role in the Enlightenment Construction of Race,” in Race, ed. Bernasconi (Malden, Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), 11‑36; 

 

Hannah Franziska Augstein (ed.), Race: The Origins of an Idea, 1760‑1850 (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1996); 

 

Snait B. Gissis, “Visualizing ‘Race’ in the Eighteenth Century,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 41(2011): 41‑103; 

 

Nancy Stepan, The Idea of Race in Science. Great Britain, 1800‑1960 (London: Macmillan 1982); Volkov, “Exploring” (ref. 13). 

 

On the French situation in the colonial context: Dorlin, La matrice de la race (ref. 114); Fend, “Fleshing out” (ref. 99), 159; Bindman, Ape to Apollo (ref. 14). 

 

A more recent textbook: John P. Jackson and Nadine M. Weidman, Race, Racism and Science. Social Impact and Interaction (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2006).

Retour vers la note de texte 5442

122

Bernier: “Nouvelle division” (ref. 108).

Retour vers la note de texte 5443

123

Hudson, “From ‘Nation’” (ref. 75), 253;

 

Staffan Müller-Wille, “Race and History: Comments from an Epistemological Point of View,” Science, Technology and Human Values, 39 (2014): 597-606;

 

Staffan Müller-Wille, “Linnaeus and the Four Corners of the World,” in The Cultural Politics of Blood, 1500-1900, ed. K. Coles, R. Bauer, Z. Nunes, and C. Peterson (Basingstoke: Palgrave, MacMillan, 2015), 191-209.

Retour vers la note de texte 5444

124

Broberg, “Homo sapiens” (ref. 102), 175‑82.

Retour vers la note de texte 5445

125

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, De generis humani varietate nativa, dissertatio (Göttingen, 1775), idem, De generis ... liber, com figuris aeri incisis (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 1781 (second ed.), 1795 (third ed.)).

 

Editor’s note in Robert Bernasconi (ed.), Concepts of Race in the Eighteenth Century, (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2001) Vol. 4, 5. – Cf. Blumenbach scholarship in the digital age by Gerhard Lauer (Göttingen) for the most recent work on Blumenbach.

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126

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Über die natürlichen Verschiedenheiten im Menschengeschlechte (Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1798)

 

Reprint in: Concepts, ed. Bernasconi, Vol. 5 (ref. 107, 124), 259‑69; editor’s note, on vi–vii.

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127

Immanuel Kant, Von den verschiedenen Racen der Menschen zur Ankündigung der Vorlesungen der physischen Geographie im Sommerhalbenjahre 1775. (Königsberg: Hartung, 1775);

 

Immanuel Kant, “Von den verschiedenen Racen der Menschen,” in Der Philosoph für die Welt, Part II, ed. J.J. Engel, (1777), 125‑64;

 

Immanuel Kant, “Bestimmung des Begriffs einer Menschenrace”; Berlinische Monatsschrift, 6 (1785): 390‑417Reprint in: Bernasconi (ed.) Concepts (ref. 108);

 

Peter MacLaughlin, Kant’s Critique of Teleology in Biological Explanation: Antinomy and Teleology, (Lewiston, New York: Mellen 1990);

 

Bernasconi, “Who invented” (ref. 122).

 

For a detailed description of Kant’s definition of ‘race’, cf. Lettow, “Improving Reproduction” (ref. 114). 

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128

Lettow, “Improving Reproduction“ (ref. 114).

Retour vers la note de texte 5449

129

For the important – and controversial – discussion of aesthetics at the time and its role in the formation of racial thought, see Bindman, Ape to Apollo (ref. 14). 

Retour vers la note de texte 5450

130

Georg Satzinger, Bonn, personal communication to author, Jan. 2015.

Retour vers la note de texte 5451

131

Georg Satzinger, Bonn, personal communication to author, Jan. 2015.

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132

Harold Cook, Brown University, drew my attention to the similarity of the two figures to these classic images of orangutans.

Reproductions of these images are to be found in Cook, Matters (ref. 15), 223 and Frank Spencer, “Pithekos to Pithecanthropus,” in Ape, Man, Apeman: Changing Views since 1600, ed. Raymond Corbey and Bert Theunissen (Leiden Univ.: Dept. of Prehistory, 1995), 13‑27, on 23.

Retour vers la note de texte 5453

133

William Piso, De Indiae re naturali et medica libri quatuordecim, (Amsterdam: Lodovicum et Denielem Elzevirios, 1658, based on a manuscript by Jacobus Bontius).

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134

Conrad Gessner, Allgemeines Thier-Buch. Das ist eigentliche und lebendige Abbildung aller vierfüssigen, sowohl zahmer als wilder Thieren, welche in allen vier Theilen der Welt, auff dem Erdboden und in etlichen Wassern, zu finden (Reprint Hannover: Schlüter, 1983) 18‑9.

He subsumes this animal under the rubric of the ‘Raue Waldmännlein’ – the rough forest men, which is a translation of ‘orang outang’. 

Retour vers la note de texte 5455

135

Cook, Matters, (ref. 15), 222‑3. 

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136

Four illustrations of Antropomorpha are published in Linnaeus’ journal, Christianus Emmanuel Hoppius, “Antropomorpha,” Amoenitates Academicae, Sept. 6, (1760): 63‑76 + Table, reprint in Bernasconi (ed), Concepts, vol. 3 (ref. 108).

Retour vers la note de texte 5457

137

Georg Satzinger, Bonn, personal communication to author, Jan. 2015.

Retour vers la note de texte 5458

138

Rehm, Stumme Sprache (ref. 118), 352.

Retour vers la note de texte 5461

140

Edward Tyson, Orang-outang, sive, Homo sylvestris, or, The Anatomy of a Pygmie Compared with that of a Monkey, and Ape, and a Man, to which is added A Philological Essay concerning the Pygmies, the Cynocephali, the Satyrs and Sphinges of the ancients, wherein it will appear that they were all either Apes or Monkeys, and not Men, as formerly pretended. (London: Bennett & Brown, 1699).

Retour vers la note de texte 5462

141

Spencer, “Pithekos” (ref. 133), 16;

 

Hudson, “From ‘Nation’” (ref. 75), 253.

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142

Broberg, “Homo sapiens” (ref. 102), 172.

Retour vers la note de texte 5464

143

Cf. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (Benediction Classics, 2003) 158-84, esp. and her strong criticism of the “naturalisation” of the human, which she saw as one crucial prerequisit for the dehumanisation in racist policies of the 19th and 20th centuries. 

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Editor’s note in Robert Bernasconi (ed.), Concepts of Race in the Eighteenth Century, (Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2001), vol. 4, 5.

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Edward Tyson, Orang-outang, sive, Homo sylvestris, or, The Anatomy of a Pygmie Compared with that of a Monkey, and Ape, and a Man, to which is added A Philological Essay concerning the Pygmies, the Cynocephali, the Satyrs and Sphinges of the ancients, wherein it will appear that they were all either Apes or Monkeys, and not Men, as formerly pretended, (London: Bennett & Brown, 1699).

Joh. Aug. Unzer III, “Betrachtungen über des sel. Herrn Hofraths Stahls theoretischen Grundsatz in der Arztneywissenschaft”, Hamburgisches Magazin, 10 (1753): 400‑21.

Shulamit Volkov, “Exploring the Other. The Enlightenment’s Search for the Boundaries of Humanity,” in Demonizing the Other. Antisemitism, Racism and Xenophobia, Robert S. Wistrich (ed.), (New York: Routledge, 1999), 148‑67.

Hans Martin von Erffa, Ikonologie der Genesis. Die christlichen Bildthemen aus dem alten Testament und ihre Quellen. Vol. 1 (München: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1989).

Fritz von Wettstein, “Joseph Gottlieb Koelreuter (sic!)”, Die Naturwissenschaften, 21 (1933): 309‑10.

Armin Wankmüller, “Vorwort,” Beiträge zur Württembergischen Apothekengeschichte, 1 (1950): 5‑21.

Roger J. Wood, “The Sheep Breeders’ View of Heredity Before and After 1800,” in Heredity produced, Müller-Wille and Rheinberger (ed.), 229‑50.

Natalie Zemon Davis, Trickster Travels. In Search of Leo Africanus, A Sixteenth-Century Muslim between Worlds (London: Faber and Faber, 2007).

ARCHIVES : APS-CSP, Archives of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia: Curt Stern papers; file: Race Crossing in Paradise, 1954.

ARCHIVES : Stadtarchiv Calw: Zubrings-Inventarium Johann Georg Gärtner und Ehefrau Maria Regina geb. Sigelin, 24 July 1754.

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Femmes, genre et sciences sociales

Les entretiens et l'article présentés ici proposent une pluralité de méthodes pour l'étude du genre en sciences sociales, via des disciplines et des contextes différents (le travail, la politique, la guerre). Ils ont pour point commun leur effort exemplaire de réflexivité. Ils mettent en évidence le fait que l'étude du genre est une condition prioritaire de compréhension de l'ensemble des processus sociaux et historiques étudiés par les sciences sociales du politique.

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La Turquie de l'Empire ottoman à nos jours

La Turquie, depuis le tournant autoritaire du président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan, est au cœur des enjeux nationaux et internationaux. Les notices relatives à la Turquie présentées ici interrogent le rapport au pouvoir au sein de cet espace et ce, dans la longue durée. Ces dernières font la part belle aux acteurs sociaux tels que l’État, les notables locaux, etc., via l’exploration et l’analyse du processus de modernisation dans l’Empire ottoman et en Turquie ainsi que des ressorts de la domination étatique.

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Faire des sciences sociales

Guidés par quelques intuitions et armés de leur réflexivité, les chercheurs en sciences sociales construisent leurs objets, élaborent des dispositifs d'enquête, interprètent les données de terrain. La démarche scientifique est ainsi une contribution à l'interprétation du monde.