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Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery

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Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


From the fifteenth century onwards, as European explorers sailed forth on grand voyages of discovery, their encounters with exotic plants and animals fanned intense scientific interest. Scholars began to examine nature with fresh eyes, and pioneering artists transformed the way nature was seen and understood. In Amazing Rare Things, renowned naturalist and documentary-maker David Attenborough joins with expert colleagues to explore how artists portrayed the natural world during this era of burgeoning scientific interest.

The book focuses on an exquisite selection of natural history drawings and watercolors by Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander Marshal, Maria Sibylla Merian, and Mark Catesby, and from the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo; works all held in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. Attenborough and his coauthors offer lucid commentary on topics ranging from the 30,000-year history of human drawings of the natural world, to Leonardo’s fascination with natural processes, to Catesby’s groundbreaking studies that introduced Europeans to the plants and animals of North America. With 160 full color illustrations, this beautiful book will appeal to readers with interests that extend from art and science to history and nature.

Review:

"Beginning with Leonardo da Vinci, this historical overview of scientific illustrators between the late 1400s and the mid-1700s includes beautiful, intricate specimens from the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Natural History Museum, among others. Filmmaker Attenborough provides an introductory survey of the artistic representation of plants and animals through human history; succeeding chapters focus on five figures-four artists and one collector-none of whom are well-known in either scientific or art history circles. Cassiano dal Pozzo proves an eager and curious antiquarian, a church functionary in Rome who amassed a remarkable collection of illustrations featuring everything from ancient Roman artifacts, minerals and fossils to newly discovered plants and animals. Stunning work by Alexander Marshal, Maria Sibylla Merian and Mark Catesby capture plants and animals in their natural state, including dispatches from the New World and fauna newly arrived from foreign lands. Merian proves most fascinating, working in a time (the late 15th century) when women seldom left their homes, let alone traveled unattended to South America to draw insects and plants in the jungles of Dutch Surinam. A true feast for anyone interested in natural history, this marvelous book makes the underappreciated artworks of a passionate, talented group widely accessible. Color illustrations." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A gorgeously illustrated volume devoted to the natural history drawings and watercolors of Leonardo da Vinci and other outstanding artists of the Age of Discovery

About the Author

David Attenboroughs distinguished career in broadcasting spans more than 50 years. A pioneer of the nature documentary, he has written and presented nine major television series on virtually every aspect of life on Earth, including most recently Planet Earth. He was knighted in 1985, was created a member of the Order of Merit in 2005, and has received many other awards and honorary degrees. Susan Owens is assistant curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle. She curated the recent exhibit, Watercolours and Drawings from the Collection of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Martin Clayton is deputy curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle. He has published extensively on Renaissance art. Rea Alexandratos is coordinator of the Dal Pozzo Catalogue Project.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300125474
Subtitle:
The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Author:
Attenborough, David
Author:
Owens, Susan
Author:
Alexandratos, Rea
Author:
Clayton, Martin
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Subjects & Themes - Plants & Animals
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
Natural history
Subject:
Natural history illustration.
Subject:
History
Subject:
Natural history illustration -- History.
Subject:
History of Science-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
September 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
160 color illus.
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9.88 x 7.63 in 2.15 lb

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Natural History » General

Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 224 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300125474 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Beginning with Leonardo da Vinci, this historical overview of scientific illustrators between the late 1400s and the mid-1700s includes beautiful, intricate specimens from the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Natural History Museum, among others. Filmmaker Attenborough provides an introductory survey of the artistic representation of plants and animals through human history; succeeding chapters focus on five figures-four artists and one collector-none of whom are well-known in either scientific or art history circles. Cassiano dal Pozzo proves an eager and curious antiquarian, a church functionary in Rome who amassed a remarkable collection of illustrations featuring everything from ancient Roman artifacts, minerals and fossils to newly discovered plants and animals. Stunning work by Alexander Marshal, Maria Sibylla Merian and Mark Catesby capture plants and animals in their natural state, including dispatches from the New World and fauna newly arrived from foreign lands. Merian proves most fascinating, working in a time (the late 15th century) when women seldom left their homes, let alone traveled unattended to South America to draw insects and plants in the jungles of Dutch Surinam. A true feast for anyone interested in natural history, this marvelous book makes the underappreciated artworks of a passionate, talented group widely accessible. Color illustrations." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

A gorgeously illustrated volume devoted to the natural history drawings and watercolors of Leonardo da Vinci and other outstanding artists of the Age of Discovery

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