Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
The Camelopard, The Monstrous Pig, The Famous Porcupine, Dürers Rhinoceros: these are but a few of the beautiful and bizarre creatures that feature in this delightful book. In the visual arts of the fifteenth to the early nineteenth centuries in Europe, animals were understood in relation to the human world, whether as animals of the farm, estate or household, beasts of burden or as diversions in menageries and travelling shows. At the same time, rapidly increasing investigation of the natural world engaged artists in the problems of accurate representation: prints were particularly important in distributing natural historical information (or misinformation) across a wide, international audience. This beautifully illustrated book explores perceptions of the natural world as seen through the eyes of imaginative artists: works by Goya, Stubbs and Bewick stand alongside prints by lesser-known artists, each selected for its graphic strength, charm and narrative interest. Featured are natural history studies, masterpieces from the British Museum's exceptional collection of classical old master prints, book illustrations, satires and popular prints to beautifully capture the diversity and appeal of early modern print culture. Visually stunning, entertaining and intriguing, this book explores humankinds enduring curiosity about the animal world.