Sunday, August 13, 2006

Physica Curiosa

[detail with touchup to background]

[click images for full size versions]

'Physica curiosa, sive mirabilia naturae et artis libris XII. comprehensa, quibus pleraque, quae de angelis, daemonibus, hominibus, spectris, energumensis, monstris, portentis, animalibus, meteoris, &c. rara, arcana, curiosaqe circumferuntur, ad veritatis trutinam expenduntur, variis ex historia ac philosophia petitis disquisitionibus excutiuntur, & innumeris exemplis illustrantur.' 1662. Gaspar Schott.
"Physica Curiosa is a large compendium of pictures and stories regarding monsters, physical abnormalities, and bizarre animals. Rather than a work of original scholarship, Schott's book, like many others of its kind, attempts to gather together as much as is commonly known on the topic. Therefore, many of the descriptions of animals and creatures repeat apochraphyl accounts as if they are fact, and perpetuate belief in unicorns, satyrs, and other mythical beings."
All 57 plates are online at the John Martin Rare Book Room at the University of Iowa.

Schott was a Jesuit priest, scientist, mathematician, and student of Athanasius Kircher.


nico said...

Strange, beautiful. Strange

peacay said...

My thoughts exactly!

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