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Amazing Rare Things - Attenborough, David; Royal Collection Enterprises; Owens, Susan; Clayton, Martin; Alexandratos, Rea - Yale University Press
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Amazing Rare Things

The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery

  • David Attenborough, Susan Owens, Martin Clayton, and Rea Alexandratos
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Out of Print.


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.

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 is an independent art historian. Martin Clayton is Head of Prints and Drawings, and Rea Alexandratos is Dal Pozzo Project Co-ordinator, for Royal Collection Trust.




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