Amazing Rare Things The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery David Attenborough, Susan Owens, Martin Clayton, Rea Alexandratos

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
29 Sep 2015
ISBN:
9780300215724
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
224 pages: 251 x 194mm
Illustrations:
160 color illus.
Sales territories:
World

A gorgeously illustrated volume devoted to the natural history drawings and watercolors 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 watercolors 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 color illustrations, this beautiful book will appeal to readers with interests that extend from art and science to history and nature.

David Attenborough, a pioneer of the nature documentary, has written and presented nine major television series on virtually every aspect of life on Earth. Susan Owens was formerly Assistant Curator of Paintings and Drawings for Royal Collection Trust and is now an independent art historian. Martin Clayton is Head of Prints and Drawings for Royal Collection Trust and Rea Alexandratos is Dal Pozzo Project Co-ordinator for Royal Collection Trust.

'Amazing Rare Things is a book to savor in your favorite chair. You'll imagine yourself with naturalist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian as she tramps into the wilderness of Surinam. The sumptuous drawings and watercolors reproduced in this volume bear witness to the endeavors of Merian, Leonardo da Vinci and other artists who recorded the plants, animals and insects they observed with intensity. The accompanying prose bristles with detail ... The coupling of words and images is primal, yet transcendent.' - Susan P. Williams, Washington Post Book World