Natural history illustrations  

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Artforms of Nature (1904) by Ernst Haeckel The 49th plate from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur of 1904, showing various sea anemones classified as Actiniae.
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Artforms of Nature (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
The 49th plate from Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur of 1904, showing various sea anemones classified as Actiniae.
"Musei Wormiani Historia", the frontispiece from the Museum Wormianum depicting Ole Worm's cabinet of curiosities
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"Musei Wormiani Historia", the frontispiece from the Museum Wormianum depicting Ole Worm's cabinet of curiosities
The Birds of America (Color lithographic plate 321) (1836) - John James Audubon
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The Birds of America (Color lithographic plate 321) (1836) - John James Audubon

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Since the Renaissance, the use of illustrations was frequently seen in works of natural history.

Conrad Gessner's Historiae animalium and Ulisse Aldrovandi's Storia Naturale were the two earliest examples of illustrated natural history books. As Arianne Faber Kolb notes in Jan Brueghel the Elder: The Entry of the Animals Into Noah's Ark:

"Gesner employed the artists Hans Asper, Jean Thomas, and Lucas Schan, and Aldrovandi worked together with Cristoforo Coriolano, who made prints after drawings by Lorenzo Bernini, Cornelius Swint, and Jacopo Ligozzi. Gesner and Aldrovandi did not always rely on the information presented by the ancients, but tested it when possible by performing their own examinations of ... they sometimes borrowed fish and bird illustrations from Guillaume Rondelet and Pierre Belon."

Perhaps the most famous historical natural history illustration, Dürer's Rhinoceros (1515), was featured in several natural history books, most famously in Gesner's Historiae animalium.

Contents

Examples

16th century

18th century

19th century

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Natural history illustrations" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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