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Author Freedberg, David.

Title The eye of the Lynx : Galileo, his friends, and the beginnings of modern natural history / David Freedberg
Published Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2002


Description 1 online resource (xii, 513 pages) : illustrations (some color)
Contents Contents -- Acknowledgments -- A Note to Historians of Science -- Introduction: Saving the Appearances -- PART I: BACKGROUND -- 1. The Paper Museum -- 2. Lynxes -- PART II: ASTRONOMY -- 3. The New Star -- 4. The Telescope: Imperfection in the Heavens -- 5. The Conflict of Truths -- PART III: NATURAL HISTORY -- 6. The Chastity of Bees -- 7. The Microscope and the Vernacular -- 8. Plants and Reproduction -- 9. The Mexican Treasury: Taxonomy and Illustration -- 10. The Doctor�s Dilemmas: Description, Dissection, and the Problem of Illustration
11. FossilsPART IV: PICTURES AND ORDER -- 12. The Failure of Pictures -- 13. The Order of Nature -- 14. The Fate of Pictures: Appearance, Truth, and Ambiguity -- Notes -- Abbreviations -- Bibliography -- Headings -- Index
Summary Publisher's description: Some years ago, David Freedberg opened a dusty cupboard at Windsor Castle and discovered hundreds of vividly colored, masterfully precise drawings of all sorts of plants and animals from the Old and New Worlds. Coming upon thousands more drawings like them across Europe, Freedberg finally traced them all back to a little-known scientific organization from seventeenth-century Italy called the Academy of Linceans (or Lynxes). Founded by Prince Federico Cesi in 1603, the Linceans took as their task nothing less than the documentation and classification of all of nature in pictorial form. In this first book-length study of the Linceans to appear in English, Freedberg focuses especially on their unprecedented use of drawings based on microscopic observation and other new techniques of visualization. Where previous thinkers had classified objects based mainly on similarities of external appearance, the Linceans instead turned increasingly to sectioning, dissection, and observation of internal structures. They applied their new research techniques to an incredible variety of subjects, from the objects in the heavens studied by their most famous (and infamous) member Galileo Galilei--whom they supported at the most critical moments of his career--to the flora and fauna of Mexico, bees, fossils, and the reproduction of plants and fungi. But by demonstrating the inadequacy of surface structures for ordering the world, the Linceans unwittingly planted the seeds for the demise of their own favorite method--visual description-as a mode of scientific classification. Profusely illustrated and engagingly written, Eye of the Lynx uncovers a crucial episode in the development of visual representation and natural history. And perhaps as important, it offers readers a dazzling array of early modern drawings, from magnificently depicted birds and flowers to frogs in amber, monstrously misshapen citrus fruits, and more
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 481-500) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Galilei, Galileo, 1564-1642
Cesi, Federico, 1585-1630
Accademia nazionale dei Lincei -- History
Accademia nazionale dei Lincei
Accademia nazionale dei Lincei.
Accademia nazionale dei Lincei
Rom / Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.
Science -- Italy -- History
Natural History -- history
SCIENCE -- History.
Natuurlijke historie.
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780226261539