Over the course of the seventeenth century, two representations of Stonehenge—one published in William Camden’s Britannia (1600) and the other in Inigo Jones’s Stone-heng Restored (1655)—were invoked repeatedly in an intensifying debate over the monument’s origins. This debate engaged both the virtuosi community of the Royal Society and members of the closely related, fledgling world of English architectural discourse, and the two representations became the common ground for both conversation and contestation. This paper traces the entangled afterlives of these two images, and argues that their reproduction and reinterpretation by members of natural history, antiquarian, and architectural communities created both discord and new, collective knowledge. Drawing on recent work exploring how images produced for divergent purposes and audiences were integrated into natural philosophical study, I explore how, through their reproduction, alteration, and recontextualization, these images functioned as tools of both division and mediation, and created space for debate and new investigation.
Kaemmer, H. (2023). Description or Design: Debating Visual Truth at Stonehenge in the Seventeenth Century. Nuncius, 38(2), 278-310. https://doi.org/10.1163/18253911-bja10064
William Rogers, perspective of Stonehenge from William Camden’s Britannia (London: Printed for George Bishop, 1600), 252