A new exhibition of nature drawings, paintings and renderings has just opened at Buckingham Palace. The event focuses around four artists and a collector (Leonardo da Vinci, Cassiano dal Pozzo, Alexander Marshal, Maria Sibylla Merian and Mark Catesby) who lived from the mid 15th century to the late 18th. As an added bonus the exhibit, Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery, was a collaboration by curators of the Royal Collection and Sir David “Superfly” Attenborough.
The subjects of the works tend to be then-newly discovered species, many from the New World, which left more than a little to the artists’ imaginations. Thus in many of the pictures the artists have attempted to predict or imagine what the behavior of their subjects might have been. For example, take a look at this picture of a sloth by an unidentified artist in the 17th Century.
Heeeeey, yoooou guuuuuuuys!!!
Obviously, the artist had not seen a live specimen before, as sloths are unable to walk with this posture, and their faces are not quite so grotesque. We give it a D minus.
And how about these…
…pictures depicting a human-like bear foot by Leonardo da Vinci and a crocodile wrestling a king snake by Maria Sibylla Merian.
Seriously Maria, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. And furthermore, was da Vinci implying that Jesus was married with kids, and that he was half human, half bear? We’re going to go ahead and say, “Yes. Definitely.”
And what about this picture by the famous 16th Century artist, Brandon Bird?
At any rate, the exhibition looks fascinating. To learn more about it and the featured artists go to the official website, or head over to Buckingham Palace between March 14th and September 21st, 2008.
Special thanks to Kevin Z at Deep Sea News for the heads up!