Posted in biology, communication and networking, medical imaging

Funny historic science drawings

From NYT:

Conrad Gessner's animalsToday’s paleo-art—the paintings of creatures no living human has ever seen—has its roots in the Middle Ages. Bestiaries were filled with images of mythical beasts and woefully distorted pictures of real creatures. Renaissance artists transformed the visualization of nature by putting more care into making their pictures accurate. The finest example of this new kind of art, a 4,500-page tome called “The Histories of Animals,” was published by the Swiss physician Conrad Gessner in the mid-1500s.

Gessner hired masters of woodcutting to make lavish illustrations for his book. Whenever possible, Gessner had them work from actual specimens. But Gessner’s artists couldn’t go to the Arctic or to Africa, so they still had to rely on second-hand information for exotic species. Gessner’s masterpiece is a transitional mix of the modern and the mythical.

Text by Carl Zimmer and Brian Ogilvie, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts

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Related article: How artists mine science for illustrations



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.