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Friday, September 18, 2015

The heirs of Ulisse Aldrovandi



Here's a wonderful direct descendant of a kind of books that become established in the Renaissance. It provides many data coming from the scientific observation of animals, both anatomy and ethology, while not forgetting the cultural, religious, medical meaning of many species -- of insects and the like, in this case -- in different world areas and eras. Beautiful illustrations unite accuracy and a sense of wonder, even of adventure. Tasso would surely have been fascinated by this book, and taken further cues for his long poem Il Mondo Creato.

P.S. for Italians born in the 1960s or 70s: The general organization of these books recalls the 'legendary' series Guarda e scopri gli animali, now framing pages horizontally.

Susan Barraclough (ed.), Insetti. Piccole creature spaventose [orig.: Bugs], Rusconi Libri - Dix, 2015, pages 192, wholly illustrated but guiltily omitting the artists' names