In the early seventeenth century, at a defining moment of early modernity, there developed an intense humanistic and scientific interest in the human senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste). The visual arts, literature, and philosophy, as well as the new sciences of anatomy, biology, and medicine delved into the subject. In humanistic and philosophical inquiry, the senses were studied as keys to human identity, principally as vehicles of our embodied "apparatus" for knowing. In painting, the theme of the Five Senses received particularly dramatic treatment.