pubblicato da Yale University Press
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.
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 A true feast for anyone interested in natural history, this marvelous book makes the underappreciated artworks of a passionate, talented group widely accessible. -Publishers Weekly (starred review) All the essays and naturalist Attenborough's introduction are written for a general audience. The paper and print quality is superb, with an amazing level of detail visible in the color plates. Recommended for public and academic libraries. -Library Journal Silver medal winner for the 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in the Nature category Selected as a 2008 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries Scientists often wonder who first illustrated biodiversity, and I imagine that artists often wonder about the chronology and development of accurate depictions of natural history. Amazing Rare Things is a welcome and long overdue integration of art and science. -Margaret D. Lowman, author of It's a Jungle Up There and Life in the Treetops Animals were the first things that human beings drew. Not plants. Not landscapes. Not even themselves. But animals. Why? . . . There is a common denominator that links all these artists-the profound joy that all feel who observe the natural world with [a] sustained and devoted intensity. -From the Introduction by David Attenborough