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

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

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 watercolours 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 colour illustrations, this beautiful book will appeal to readers with interests that extend from art and science to history and nature.

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Description

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

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 watercolours 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 colour illustrations, this beautiful book will appeal to readers with interests that extend from art and science to history and nature.

 

Publisher: Yale University Press

Paperback

2015

ISBN: 9780300215724