Clutius Botanical Watercolors

Clutius Botanical Watercolors

Editorial Review
During the Renaissance, the boundary between art and science was not as clearly drawn as it is in the information age. One of the key functions of science in da Vinci's day was to accurately and elegantly depict the denizens of the natural world, and nowhere did the scientist-artists shine more than in botanical studies. The Clutius Botanical Watercolors offers a glimpse into the world of 16th-century naturalists, who spent...

Editorial Review
During the Renaissance, the boundary between art and science was not as clearly drawn as it is in the information age. One of the key functions of science in da Vinci's day was to accurately and elegantly depict the denizens of the natural world, and nowhere did the scientist-artists shine more than in botanical studies. The Clutius Botanical Watercolors offers a glimpse into the world of 16th-century naturalists, who spent much time "botanizing." This particularly gorgeous collection of original (but unsigned) drawings and watercolors was owned by Theodorus Clutius, a Netherlands pharmacist, and they were used to instruct budding scientists and physicians at Leiden University.

These plant studies are exquisitely detailed and delicately colored, retaining both usefulness and beauty. Every needle on the pine bough is painstakingly rendered. Each pea leaf, tendril, and flower is accurate and dainty. Each plant in the pleasure garden, the kitchen garden, and the wild is drawn and tinted to perfection. This book is a joy to leaf through for botanists, artists, and fans of Renaissance naturalists. --Therese Littleton

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