G. E. Rumphius, also known as the ?Indian Pliny,” was one of the great tropical naturalists of the seventeenth century. Born in Germany, he spent most of his life in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, stationed on the island of Ambon in eastern Indonesia. He wrote two major works; this one, the first modern work on tropical fauna, was published posthumously in Dutch in 1705. A classic text of natural history, it is now available in English for the first time. The descriptions in The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet cover the gamut of organisms found in the seas surrounding Ambon?crabs, shrimp, sea urchins, mussels?as well as minerals and rare concretions taken from animals and plants. A series of exquisite etchings accompanies the descriptions. The book has been masterfully translated and extensively annotated by E. M. Beekman, whose introduction provides the first biography of Rumphius in English that incorporates new material.
A highlight for the Art Gallery of South Australia in June will be the much anticipated Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spiceswhich is the first exhibition in Australia to present the complex artistic and cultural interactions between Europe and Asia from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries - a period known as the Age of Spices.
For more than a century, from about 1600 until the early eighteenth century, the Dutch dominated world trade. Via the Netherlands the far reaches of the world, both in the Atlantic and in the East, were connected. Dutch ships carried goods, but they also opened up opportunities for the exchange of knowledge. The commercial networks of the Dutch trading companies provided an infrastructure which was accessible to people with a scholarly interest in the exotic world. The present collection of essays brings together a number of studies about knowledge construction that depended on the Dutch trading networks. Contributors include: Paul Arblaster, Hans den Besten, Frans Blom, Britt Dams, Adrien Delmas, Alette Fleischer, Antje Flüchter, Michiel van Groesen, Henk de Groot, Julie Berger Hochstrasser, Grégoire Holtz, Siegfried Huigen, Elspeth Jajdelska, Maria-Theresia Leuker, Edwin van Meerkerk, Bruno Naarden, and Christina Skott.
In this provocative book, Richard Sennett looks at the ways today's global, ever-mutable form of capitalism is affecting our lives. He analyzes how changes in work ethic, in our attitudes toward merit and talent, and in public and private institutions have all contributed to what he terms 'the spectre of uselessness', and he concludes with suggestions to counter this disturbing new culture.
As early modern Europe launched its multiple projects of global empire, it simultaneously embarked on an ambitious program of describing and picturing the world. The shapes and meanings of the extraordinary global images that emerged from this process form the subject of this highly original and richly textured study of cultural geography. Inventing Exoticism draws on a vast range of sources from history, literature, science, and art to describe the energetic and sustained international engagements that gave birth to our modern conceptions of exoticism and globalism. Illustrated with more than two hundred images of engravings, paintings, ceramics, and more, Inventing Exoticism shows, in vivid example and persuasive detail, how Europeans came to see and understand the world at an especially critical juncture of imperial imagination. At the turn to the eighteenth century, European markets were flooded by books and artifacts that described or otherwise evoked non-European realms: histories and ethnographies of overseas kingdoms, travel narratives and decorative maps, lavishly produced tomes illustrating foreign flora and fauna, and numerous decorative objects in the styles of distant cultures. Inventing Exoticism meticulously analyzes these, while further identifying the particular role of the Dutch—"Carryers of the World," as Defoe famously called them—in the business of exotica. The form of early modern exoticism that sold so well, as this book shows, originated not with expansion-minded imperialists of London and Paris, but in the canny ateliers of Holland. By scrutinizing these materials from the perspectives of both producers and consumers—and paying close attention to processes of cultural mediation—Inventing Exoticism interrogates traditional postcolonial theories of knowledge and power. It proposes a wholly revisionist understanding of geography in a pivotal age of expansion and offers a crucial historical perspective on our own global culture as it engages in a media-saturated world.
This book explores how the Medici Grand Dukes pursued ways to expand their political, commercial, and cultural networks beyond Europe, cultivating complex relations with the Ottoman Empire and other Islamicate regions, and looking further east to India, China, and Japan. The chapters in this volume discuss how casting a global, cross-cultural net was part and parcel of the Medicean political vision. Diplomatic gifts, items of commercial exchange, objects looted at war, maritime connections, and political plots were an inherent part of how the Medici projected their state on the global arena. The eleven chapters of this volume demonstrate that the mobility of objects, people, and knowledge that generated the global interactions analyzed here was not unidirectional—rather, it went both to and from Tuscany. In addition, by exploring evidence of objects produced in Tuscany for Asian markets,this book reveals hitherto neglected histories of how Western cultures projected themselves eastwards.
In this volume, specialists from various disciplines (Neo-Latin, French, German, Dutch, History, History of Science, Art History) explore the fascinating early modern discourses on animals in science, literature and the visual arts.
Throughout history, both art and science have been employed to visualise things unseen and to image/imagine things unknown as part of the quest to understand nature. In light of this, perhaps our contemporary tendency to see art and science as completely divergent, mutually exclusive fields of study with similarly distinct methodologies may be profitably re-examined. This volume brings together recent work by both junior and senior scholars treating the art/science connection in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art. The essays are individual case studies dealing with historical interconnections between drawing, painting, sculpture and book illustration and such diverse fields of science as botany, physics, geology, and evolutionary biology. As a whole, the book invites readers to question more generally: What is art's relationship to science and vice versa? At what points do the two disciplines intersect and/or complement one another? Can science directly inform artistic subjects? Is art a useful tool to focus a scientific lens on the past, to validate or challenge scientific theory, to inspire and encourage scientific inquiry? Can it be employed successfully as a means to visualise scientific ends? Do artists have the potential to create images and objects whose meanings surpass the laws of science and outlast its theories, whose functions are similarly universal and arguably more immediately accessible (legible) to the public? If art, like text and data charts, has the power to create, organise and disseminate information (knowledge), then why do we continue to privilege scientific research over artistic investigation? Would it not be more fruitful and humane to see them as more equitable modes of inquiry?
This book combines the methodologies of history and literary criticism, reading colonial and post-colonial novels of the Indies and Indonesia as situated testimonies of the past, showing how they can illuminate nationalist narratives and imperial historie
Animals by Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie te Leiden