Saturday, July 08, 2006

Outsider Science

"Whoever reads or studies it
May spread the word to Another
that he may see and hear."














Between 1577 and 1580 Adriaen Coenensz from Scheveningen in Holland, wrote and painted over 800 pages for a work that has come to be known as 'Het Visboek' (The Fish Book).

Coenensz laid out all the knowledge he had acquired from his time as a fisherman and fish auctioneer and it's obvious he also had access to some of the well known 'natural history' books of his day. There is reference to his earning money from displaying the work at a local fair.

Despite being in Dutch, the Visboek [flash] website at Koninklijke Bibliotheek is just excellent
. A+. With thumbnails, seamless zooming and a few different viewing options, the site is a very pleasant timesink. Grab the page to move it around.
There is a short commentary in (near) english from the Hundred Highlights exhibition.
Outsider art meets natural history. Wonderful stuff.

5 comments:

tom_u said...

This is funny! You know what the lowermost picture on the right is showing?

„Believe it or not, the animal that inspired this hideous depiction is a gentle vegetarian: the elephant. This 16th-century engraving of a cyclops kept alive a myth that started thousands of years before, when ancient Greeks assumed the big skulls they found must have belong to giants, and the median nasal openings must have been single eye sockets.“

I wrote about a similar picture taken out of a book called „Evidence of Vanished Worlds“ by Yvette Gayrard-Valy 1572.

Here's where I got the Information from: strangescience.net (scroll down;).

ZRTeest said...

...have you ever seen anything like it? This must be your best ever!

pk said...

Thanks Tom. I have seen that particular illustration many times but I can't seem to find it in the archives here. I was thinking of Munster, Gesner, Topsell or Johnston - but I get confused: I forget sometimes what I see in passing versus what I post.

There is another 'long-eared' image at this Munster site near the top.

I saw perhaps a dozen images in Het Visboek that had obviously been copied from other works.

have i the lip of the flamingo said...

such an amazing blog, do you mind if i link to it from mine? i don't use 'have i the lip of the flamingo' but livejournal: http://estella-mare.livejournal.com/

xxx,
estella

pk said...

Estella, you are welcome to link to BibliOdyssey.

You have some nice imagery on your site, thanks.

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