Ape to Apollo: Aesthetics and the Idea of Race in the 18th Century
Ape to Apollo is the first book to follow the development in the eighteenth century of the idea of race as it shaped and was shaped by the idea of aesthetics. Twelve full-color illustrations and sixty-five black-and-white illustrations from publications and artists of the day allow the reader to see eighteenth-century concepts of race translated into images. Human "varieties" are marked in such illustrations by exaggerated differences, with emphases on variations from the European ideal and on the characteristics that allegedly divided the races. In surveying the idea of human variety before "race" was introduced by Linneaus as a scientific category, David Bindman considers the work of many German and British thinkers, including J. F. Blumenbach, Georg and Johann Reinhold Forster, and Immanuel Kant, as well as Georges Louis Leclerc Buffon and Pieter Camper. Bindman believes that such representations, and the theories that supported them, helped give rise to the racism of the modern era. He writes, "It may be objected that some features of modern racism predate the Enlightenment, and already existed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; certainly there was deep prejudice, but that, I would argue, is not the same as racism, which must have as a foundation a theory of race to justify the exercise of prejudice."
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aesthetic aesthetic judgement African ancient animal Anthropology Apollo Apollo Belvedere appearance argues artists Blumenbach body Buffon Calmuck character civilization claim climatic theory continent contrast Critique Crusoe culture Daniel Chodowiecki defined Different Races distinction edition Egyptians eighteenth century engraving epigenesis Essays in Physiognomy Europe European face figure forehead Georg Forster German Greek head Herder History human beauty human variety Hume Ibid idea of race ideal illus Immanuel Kant inhabitants island Johann Caspar Lavater Johann Friedrich Blumenbach Johann Gottfried Herder Johann Reinhold Forster Kant Kant's Kunstkabinett Lavater Lavater's Linnaeus living London mankind mind modern moral nations nature Negro non-European nose notes observation original Oroonoko painting philosophical physical Physiognomische Fragmente physiognomy Pieter Camper portrait race racial Reinhold Forster represented savage sense Shaftesbury skin colour skull slave slavery soul South Seas species Tahiti Tahitians taste tion ugly volume voyage Werke Winckelmann Wolf Lepenies