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History

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Naturalia

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Full-Text Articles in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

Skeletons In The Closet, Kevin M. Isky Oct 2017

Skeletons In The Closet, Kevin M. Isky

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

Among the collections cabinets of the Renaissance, fish, in the forms of naturalia and artificialia, can be widely found. They were sought after for their beauty as well as their relation to the natural world. In the famous frontispiece to Ferrante Imperato’s Dell’historia naturale (1599), fish of varying kinds are hung against and atop the ceiling on either side of a large alligator. They are mixed between an assortment of crustaceans and shells, also sea creatures, including the prized nautilus shell found so abundantly in Renaissance culture. As seen in this frontispiece, fish could be found as decoration ...


Wondrous Cetaceans, Logan D. S. Henley Oct 2017

Wondrous Cetaceans, Logan D. S. Henley

Wonders of Nature and Artifice

The Renaissance was named for the cultural rebirth it witnessed. It meant a decrease in the widespread artistic and scientific suppression of the Middle Ages. As a result, Europeans enjoyed a new exploratory enthusiasm, which brought them to the far corners of the world. The concept of exoticism was renewed by European contact with places like China and Brazil. But as well as new cultural connections being bolstered, immense scientific discovery was going on. Science, then named natural philosophy, was seeing breakthrough after breakthrough. Scientists and interested persons brought knowledge and specimens from far and wide together in curiosity cabinets ...