Pretty Ugly: Early Modern Beauty, 1400-1800

Event Date: 
10 Jan 2019 to 11 Jan 2019

Wellcome Collection 

This international conference, held at Wellcome Collection, will explore human beauty from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. It will combine the disciplines of art history, the history of ideas and aesthetics, social history and the history of medicine to interrogate the topic of physical beauty and the human body. Beauty in the early modern period was inextricably linked to both health and ethics. External beauty reflected internal wellbeing and good taste in appearances was an index of moral rectitude. Ugliness and deformity were often associated with illness and bad character. This symposium will take an interdisciplinary approach to the topic of beauty, attending to the aesthetic, social, political and medical ramifications of human physical attractiveness. For full details and to register go to the website: