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.


ZRTeest said...

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

peacay 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.

peacay said...

Estella, you are welcome to link to BibliOdyssey.

You have some nice imagery on your site, thanks.

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