Flowers, butterflies, insects, caterpillars & serpents….
Darwin's View / 25 maggio 2017

From Sybilla Merian & Moses Hariss XVII-XVIII Centuries engravings In those years, Europe was full of bonfires committed to make a clean sweep of witches. At the same time a young scientist: Sybilla Merian, daughter of the well-known German engraver Matthaeus Merian, was instead committed to studying, and illustrating the microscopic world of insects, caterpillars and butterflies and the little bigger world of flowers, plants and animals. The wonderful metamorphosis of caterpillars was the basis of her best work: Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, published in Amsterdam in 1705. The work carried out by Sibylla Merian is fantastic. Indeed, during that time, it was unusual to deal with insects – the beasts of Satan. Her drawings of plants, snakes, spiders, iguanas and tropical beetles are still considered masterpieces and are sought-after by collectors around the world. Another great master, the English entomologist Moses Harris, contributed to complete the volume with his interesting engravings.

Oranges, mandarins, cedars, lemons & bergamots..
Darwin's View / 24 maggio 2017

Artistic engravings of Ferrari, Aldrovrandi, Volckhamer… Curious and detailed collection of images of botanical subjects belonging to the citrus family, made by artists, scientists, biologists and anthropologists. Artists of the past engaged in the realization of real museums of natural history. One of them, among the best known, the bolognese Aldrovandi called his work “theater” or “microcosm of nature,” he placed at the disposal of 18.000 scholars “diversity of natural things” and 7.000 “dried plants in fifteen volumes” . 17 volumes containing thousands of beautiful watercolors of animals, plants, minerals and monsters were part of the collection. These responded to the precise Aldrovandi and colleagues’s awareness of the images’ central role, as part of the research, that in their opinion were indeed very useful for the circulation of knowledge, offering a faithful portrait of the “natural things”…