Eye for Detail

Images of Plants and Animals in Art and Science, 1500-1630

Florike Egmond

Eye for Detail

Florike Egmond

Distributed for Reaktion Books

288 pages | 100 color plates, 25 halftones | 7 1/2 x 9 3/4 | © 2016
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9781780236407 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Image-transforming techniques such as close-up, time lapse, and layering are generally associated with the age of photography, but as Florike Egmond shows in this book, they were already being used half a millennium ago. Exploring the world of natural history drawings from the Renaissance, Eye for Detail shows how the function of identification led to image manipulation techniques that will look uncannily familiar to the modern viewer.
            Egmond shows how the format of images in nature studies changed dramatically during the Renaissance period, as high-definition naturalistic representation became the rule during a robust output of plant and animal drawings. She examines what visual techniques like magnification can tell us about how early modern Europeans studied and ordered living nature, and she focuses on how attention to visual detail was motivated by an overriding question: the secret of the origins of life. Beautifully and precisely illustrated throughout, this volume serves as an arresting guide to the massive European collections of nature drawings and an absorbing study of natural history art of the sixteenth century.
 
Contents
Introduction
 
Part I
Nature Captured
1 Green Fashion: Painted Naturalia in Collections
2 Organizing Nature: Painted Albums as Collections
3 In and Out of Order
 
Part II
Untrue to Life
4 Persuasive High Definition
5 Rendering for Recognition
6 Zoom: Relevant Detail in the Visual Study of Nature
 
Part III
Micro before the Microscope
7 Minute Observation
8 Visual Dissection
 
Conclusion
 
Biographical Notes
Abbreviations and Appendix
References
Select Bibliography
Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
Index
 
Review Quotes
Choice
“This is truly a gorgeous book, with a well-written narrative and numerous, well-selected illustrations. Several of the illustrations, drawings, and paintings will be familiar to readers, but most will not. Egmond researched many collections, some of which have never appeared in print. . . . It is fortunate that so much of the material presented here has survived. Recommended.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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