Profile: Marieke Hendriksen

Postdoctoral research Fellow

Marieke Hendriksen is a historian of science and medicine with a background in philosophy of art and a special interest in the material cultures of eighteenth-century chemistry and medicine, and their aesthetics. Her current research focuses on the use of metals and gemstones in eighteenth-century Dutch medicine and explores how knowledge about the extraction, processing, characteristics and value of metals and gemstones circulated between the artistic domain and both folk and academic medicine. During her stay at the MPIWG, she will focus on networks and knowledge of glass in the Dutch Republic between 1650 and 1795. The production of glass, and particularly stained glass windows in the eighteenth-century Dutch Republic seems to be a story of decline at first sight. This project opposes that view and shows that the technical knowledge and skills required for making stained and coloured glass were preserved, researched, and improved by academic medical men and recycled by painters, jewellers, chemists and bottle makers. The project offers a new perspective on the circulation and re-appropriation of both tacit and explicit artisanal and chemical knowledge in the eighteenth century.

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The (Lack Of) Power Of Gemstones

The idea of gemstones having curative powers has existed from ancient times until the present day. As I am interested in the use of chemical and mineral substances in eighteenth-century Dutch and particularly Boerhavian medicine, I am currently analysing medical and apothecary handbooks from this period and area to gain an idea of what eighteenth-century Dutch physicians and apothecaries thought of the alleged curative powers of gemstones.

Category: Nature

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