Abstract

The hermaphrodite posed a series of problems for Enlightenment philosophes and physicians, who, when confronted with the evidence of an ambiguously sexed body, were unable to say with any certainty whether the body was male or female, but yet could not quite countenance the existence of “true” hermaphrodites. This lexical and material uncertainty about the nature of the hermaphrodite was reflected in visual representations of such individuals in eighteenth-century France and England. These images represented uncertain gender, portrayed through ambiguous artistic genre. Like the hermaphrodite, caught between sexes, these images were caught between art and science.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 391-413
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-30
Open Access
No
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