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From the award-winning botanical painting authors, a book to record more than just the flora of the world, but also the fauna. Recording accurately but beautifully the animal wildlife that surrounds us is an age-old art. The authors, with the Eden Project, show us how to take up the subject and make the most of the revival of this art form. Finding sources from which to draw is not as diffficult as it once was. We can visit zoos and wildlife parks, and museums have comprehensive collections of birds, animals, insects, crystals and fossils. All these sources allow us to take the time to capture the true essence of some of the most beautiful things on earth. From dinosaur skeletons, fossils and shells through feathers, birds, fish to beetles, butterflies and frogs. Learn how to paint the subtle scales on a fish, the iridescence of a feather or the lustre on a shell. The authors take you through the full range of skills and techniques you need to undertake natural history drawing and painting. Key techniques are explained with step-by-step demonstrations. Stunning illustrations will inspire you and illuminate the techniques you are learning. A stunning book on an art form that is fast becoming the new botanical illustration. (Word count 20,000)
In Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s most famous paintings, grapes, fish, and even the beaks of birds form human hair. A pear stands in for a man’s chin. Citrus fruits sprout from a tree trunk that doubles as a neck. All sorts of natural phenomena come together on canvas and panel to assemble the strange heads and faces that constitute one of Renaissance art’s most striking oeuvres. The first major study in a generation of the artist behind these remarkable paintings, Arcimboldo tells the singular story of their creation. Drawing on his thirty-five-year engagement with the artist, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann begins with an overview of Arcimboldo’s life and work, exploring the artist’s early years in sixteenth-century Lombardy, his grounding in Leonardesque traditions, and his tenure as a Habsburg court portraitist in Vienna and Prague. Arcimboldo then trains its focus on the celebrated composite heads, approaching them as visual jokes with serious underpinnings—images that poetically display pictorial wit while conveying an allegorical message. In addition to probing the humanistic, literary, and philosophical dimensions of these pieces, Kaufmann explains that they embody their creator’s continuous engagement with nature painting and natural history. He reveals, in fact, that Arcimboldo painted many more nature studies than scholars have realized—a finding that significantly deepens current interpretations of the composite heads. Demonstrating the previously overlooked importance of these works to natural history and still-life painting, Arcimboldo finally restores the artist’s fantastic visual jokes to their rightful place in the history of both science and art.
Between 1777 and 1816, botanical expeditions crisscrossed the vast Spanish empire in an ambitious project to survey the flora of much of the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Philippines. While these voyages produced written texts and compiled collections of specimens, they dedicated an overwhelming proportion of their resources and energy to the creation of visual materials. European and American naturalists and artists collaborated to manufacture a staggering total of more than 12,000 botanical illustrations. Yet these images have remained largely overlooked—until now. In this lavishly illustrated volume, Daniela Bleichmar gives this archive its due, finding in these botanical images a window into the worlds of Enlightenment science, visual culture, and empire. Through innovative interdisciplinary scholarship that bridges the histories of science, visual culture, and the Hispanic world, Bleichmar uses these images to trace two related histories: the little-known history of scientific expeditions in the Hispanic Enlightenment and the history of visual evidence in both science and administration in the early modern Spanish empire. As Bleichmar shows, in the Spanish empire visual epistemology operated not only in scientific contexts but also as part of an imperial apparatus that had a long-established tradition of deploying visual evidence for administrative purposes.
Includes all 477 drawings of the flora & fauna of the Malay Peninsula commissioned by Colonel William Farquhar during his time as British Resident & Commandant of Malacca from 1803 to 1818.

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