Artistic interpretations of sea life, birds, and reptiles
Between the beginning of the Scientific Revolution (which began in the mid-17th century) and the early-19th Century movement towards dry and clinical accuracy in both anatomical and zoological illustrations, there was a period of extravagance, showiness, and artistic expression in the sciences.
Instead of being solely geared towards other scientists, the artists sought to entice the general public and show off their vast collections, in many of their works. This can be seen in the medical illustrations of Frederick Ruysch, as well as here, in the zoological illustrations of Albertus Seba.
[h/t to Biodiversity Library’s blog for tipping me off to the interesting connections between two collections already in my archive]
Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descripto, tome II & III. Albetus Seba, 1735.
Nina Katchadourian - Mended Spiderwebs (1998)
“In the forest and around the house where I was living, I searched for broken spiderwebs which I repaired using red sewing thread. All of the patches were made by inserting segments one at a time directly into the web. I fixed the holes in the web until it was fully repaired, or until it could no longer bear the weight of the thread.
In the process, I often caused further damage when the tweezers got tangled in the web or when my hands brushed up against it by accident.
The morning after the first patch job, I discovered a pile of red threads lying on the ground below the web. At first I assumed the wind had blown them out; on closer inspection it became clear that the spider had repaired the web to perfect condition using its own methods, throwing the threads out in the process.
My repairs were always rejected by the spider and discarded, usually during the course of the night, even in webs which looked abandoned.”
THE HAPPINESS MACHINE
(Rotring pen on Arches white paper)
UK. Cornwall-based artist Mark Lascelles Thornton
The Adoration (from Van Eyck). Stoneware based mixed media sculpture, 168 x 36 x 16” | 427 x 91 x 41 cm.
The Adoration (from Van Eyck). Stoneware based mixed media sculpture, 168 x 36 x 16” | 427 x 91 x 41 cm, (detail).
David Ryan Robinson’s Fantasy Map of London
David Ryan Robinson doesn’t want to be known just as the map guy. Which is kind of difficult when you spend six months of your life drawing a huge A2 (that’s 23-and-a-half by 16-and-a-half inches) map of London.
It was fall 2011, and Robinson had just arrived in London. Like many young professionals, Robinson realised that the UK capital was the place to establish a firm career path. Robinson had always been into drawing, and he never got out of it. He graduated from university in June, taking a degree in art, and he knew that to advance in the creative industries he ought to move to London. “I’d only been a couple of times before,” he points out, on day trips and vacations.
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