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Redressing the Balance: Levinus Vincent’s Wonder Theatre of Nature

- August 20, 2014 in Art & Illustrations, cabinet of curiosities, cabinet of curiosity, geometry, levinus vincent, nature, pattern, prelapserian, Science & Medicine, silk, wonder theatre of nature, Wondertooneel der Nature, wunderkammer

Bert van de Roemer explores the curiosity cabinets of the Dutch collector Levinus Vincent and how the aesthetic drive behind his meticulous ordering of the contents was in essence religious, an attempt to emphasise the wonder of God's creations by restoring the natural world to its prelapsarian harmony.

The Embalming Jars of Frederik Ruysch

- January 24, 2012 in anatomy, cabinet of curiosity, cadaver, carcass, embalming, frederik ruysch, Images, jars, non-article, ruysch, skeleton

Frederic Ruysch (1638-1731) was a Dutch botanist and anatomist, remembered mainly for his groundbreaking methods of anatomical preservation and the creation of his carefully arranged scenes incorporating human body parts. These remarkable ‘still life’ displays blurred the boundary between the demonstrative element of scientific preservation and the symbolic and allegorical of vanitas art. As well as his larger more elaborate anatomical displays (as seen above) he would also keep his specimens of limbs, fetuses and the carcasses of small animals carefully embalmed in individual glass jars. Offsetting the macabre contents he would create ‘flowering’ lids, decorating them with beads, fishes, shells, artificial flowers and lacy garments – the little scenes often echoing the life the jar’s contents had once known.

(Above image from the National Library of Medicine. Below images extracted from Ruysch’s Thesaurus animalium primus (1710) housed by the Internet Archive)

Operation Doorstep

The Spirit Photographs of William Hope

The Maps of Piri Reis

Dr Julius Neubronner's Miniature Pigeon Camera

Art in Art

Huexotzinco Codex

Sessions for the Blind at Sunderland Museum

Eugène von Guérard's Australian Landscapes

Landscape and Marine Views of Norway

The Mechanism of Human Physiognomy

Space Colony Art from the 1970s

Men in Wigs

De humana physiognomonia libri IIII (1586)

Field Columbian Museum

Maps from Geographicus

Arnoldus Montanus' New and Unknown World (1671)

World War II from the Air

Halloween Postcards

Engravings by Dominicus Custos

Kodak No.1 Circular Snapshots

Kitab al-Bulhan or Book of Wonders (late 14thC.)

The Daddy Long Legs of Brighton

Amundsen's South Pole Expedition (1912)

A Catalogue of Polish Bishops

Harry Clarke's illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe (1919)

The Embalming Jars of Frederik Ruysch (1710)

Labors of the Months from the Très Riches Heures (1416)