You are browsing the archive for bestiary.

Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing

- June 28, 2016 in al-Qazwini, animals, arabic, bestiary, cosmography, Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing, mythical creatures, mythical monsters, persian, Zakariya al-Qazwini

Images from an exquisitely illustrated Persian translation, thought to hail from 17th-century Mughal India, of Zakariya al-Qazwini's medieval treatise on all things wondrous.

Topsell’s History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents (1658)

- February 25, 2016 in bestiary, edward topsell, zoology

Totalling more than 1000 pages this brilliantly illustrated treatise on zoology, explores ancient and fantastic legends about existing animals, as well as those at the more mythic end of the spectrum, including the Hydra, Lamia, and Mantichora.

Topsell’s History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents (1658)

- February 25, 2016 in bestiary, edward topsell, zoology

Totalling more than 1000 pages this brilliantly illustrated treatise on zoology, explores ancient and fantastic legends about existing animals, as well as those at the more mythic end of the spectrum, including the Hydra, Lamia, and Mantichora.

A Bestiary of Sir Thomas Browne

- June 17, 2015 in animals, bestiary, Books, Religion, Religion, Myth & Legend, superstition, superstitious beliefs, thomas browne

Hugh Aldersey-Williams takes a little tour through Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica, a work which sees one of the 17th-century's greatest writers stylishly debunk all manner of myths, in particular those relating to the world of animals.

The Bestiarium of Aloys Zötl (1831-1887)

- August 16, 2012 in Aloys Zötl, animals, bestiary, Images, Images-19th, Images-Painting, non-article, watercolours

These beautiful watercolours come from the Austrian painter Aloys Zötl’s Bestiarium, a series of exquisite paintings of various animals undertaken from 1831 through until his death in 1887. He was relatively unknown until, decades after his death, his work was “re-discovered” by surrealist André Breton who was taken by the surrealist aesthetic he saw present in the images – as he writes: “Lacking any biographical details about the artist, one can only indulge one’s fantasies in imagining the reasons which might have induced this workman from Upper Austria, a dyer by profession, to undertake so zealously between 1832 and 1887 the elaboration of the most sumptuous bestiary ever seen.” (Wikipedia)

(All images taken from Wikimedia Commons, digitally reproduced by user Rosebud23 from original prints).

The Hoolock Gibbon (1835)



The Siamang Gibbon (1883)



The Gibbon (1833)



The Cheetah (1886)



The Boa Constrictor (1867)



The Quagga (1882)



The Camel (1846)



The Sea Turtle (1867)



The African Elephant (1886)



The Walrus (1879)



The Elk (1886)



The Lioness (1832)



The Striped Hyena (1831)













Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!