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‘The Sense of Touch’ Oil on canvas Lucas Franchoys the Younger, 17th century RRa0093 / 45011i Wellcome Library
The seventeenth century was a period of intense philosophical exploration about the nature of the five senses, prompting many artists to try and reveal these phenomena. The link Lucas Franchoys the Younger makes between touch and pain is consistent with the association made by Cesare Ripa (c.1560–c.1623) in his influential dictionary for artists, Iconologia (1593). Iconography of the time also depicted ‘touch’ as a woman being bitten by a wild animal.
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