Starred 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.
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Starred Review. A true feast . . . marvelous . . . passionate . . . widely accessible. (Publishers Weekly)
A book to savor . . . sumptuous . . . transcendent. (Washington Post)
Awesome, beautiful book.
Written by one of my few real heroes.
Amazing works of art beautifully on display for hours of enjoyment and consideration. And I love David Attenborough... So smart, wise and able! Read morePublished 12 months ago by AP
Just a pure delight to learn about these artists/scientist/explorers of another age. The plates are stunning and the text informative.Published 21 months ago by Thomas S. Hopkins
I was looking for a book about natural history artists, and found this. It is wonderful - the color plates are gorgeous. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Laurel Power
This book has wonderful color illustrations throughout. The choice of artworks is excellent. Good quality paper and binding; no complaints.Published on January 12, 2013 by Nancy
i found this book very good and the pictures are very nice .I am expecting a follow so good ;Published on January 7, 2013 by ECOLE40
The cover would lead you to believe that this book is filled with competent artwork of scientific illustration caliber, but sadly this isn't the case. Read morePublished on November 16, 2012 by Samantha Peebles