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The Art of Natural History

Illustrated Treatises and Botanical Paintings, 1400-1850

written by Amy R W Meyers, Therese O'Malley

Yale University Press | ISBN 9780300121582

Hardback – 272 pages


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'Making knowledge visible' is how one sixteenth-century naturalist described the work of the illustrator of botanical treatises. The absorbing exploration of the relationship between image and text in this collection considers each aided the development and transmission of scientific knowledge. Presenting images found throughout Europe in works on natural history, medicine, botany, horticulture and garden design, and studies of insects, birds, and animals, the contributors emphasize their artistic as well as scientific value. Illustrators are shown to have been both artists and either naturalists or gardeners, bringing aesthetic judgment and empirical observation to their work. Their fascinating images receive fresh, wide-ranging analysis which covers such topics as innovation, patronage, readership, reception, technologies of production, and the relationship between the fine arts and scientific depictions of nature.


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