Automata were… theologically and culturally familiar, things with which one could be on easy terms. They were funny, sometimes bawdy, and they were everywhere… Mechanical devils were…rife. Poised in sacristies, they made horrible faces, howled and stuck out their tongues to instill fear in the hearts of sinners. The Satan-machines rolled their eyes and flailed their arms and wings; some even had moveable horns and crowns. A muscular, crank-operated devil with sharply pointed ears and wild eyes remains in residence at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan.
—Jessica Riskin, “Machines in the Garden.” Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts 1, no. 2 (April 3, 2010)