Research group Knowledge and Art Practices
Specialisation Art and science in the early modern period


Ellen Pater is a PhD researcher at the Huygens Institute, doing her dissertation research in the NWO project ‘Visualizing the Unknown.’ In 2015 Ellen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts/Graphic Design at Academy Minerva, school of visual art in Groningen. She finished her Research Master Arts Media and Literary Studies in 2021 with a master thesis on the beeswax sculptures of the seventeenth-century Sicilian Jesuit, Gaetano Giulio Zumbo at the University of Groningen.

Due to her background as a practicing visual artist and designer, Ellen is fascinated by early modern artistic materials and artistic techniques used to make images, sculptures and models, as in this relation meaning is created. But that same interaction provokes questions on how scientific observations and the resulting images are shaped by these materials and artistic techniques, since materials and techniques relayed knowledge and played a role in communicating and verifying scientific information. In addition, Ellen is intrigued by the relation of art, science and religion in the early modern period, and what this means for the cultural bedrock wherein early modern naturalists operated in their everyday life. In relation to that, has Ellen become increasingly interested in early modern practices and conceptualizations of use and re-use as well as household practices, both in relation to art and science.