A History of the Use of Illustrations in the Geosciences: I. Seeing is Believing…

GESNER_1565_fossilsThe progress made in understanding realistic landscape-views and the rediscovery of ancient encyclopedias (like the works by Pliny the Elder) inspired Renaissance naturalists to adopt an exact and systematic approach to describe the curiosities found in the natural world. As most information as possible should be associated to every studied object – compiled from the works of ancient authors, own observations, may also supposed medical and magical properties, a good description should also include a detailed figure showing the described specimen (at the time a very expensive approach, as artists and engravers had to be hired).
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