Medusa’s Menagerie

Otto Marseus van Schrieck and the Scholars

Edited by Gero Seelig and the Staatliches Museum Schwerin

Medusa’s Menagerie

Edited by Gero Seelig and the Staatliches Museum Schwerin

Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

232 pages | 160 color plates | 9 1/2 x 10 1/2 | © 2017
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9783777428987 Published March 2018 For sale in Canada, Mexico, and the USA only
The precision in the works of Otto Marseus van Schriek—the inventor of the sottobosco still life—continue to fascinate viewers to this day. Always directing the viewer’s gaze towards reality, often with gruesome detail, this seventeenth-century Amsterdam painter’s works show a paradigm shift from book-based scholarship to empirical science. Animal and plant studies served as preparation for his paintings, which in fact went on to provide the illustrations to many scientific works in his time.
 
This porous relationship between art and science fueled van Schriek’s friendships with scholars such as Johannes Swammerdam and Cassiano dal Pozzo, and inspired his membership in a broader international republic of scholars. Titled after one of van Schriek’s most famous paintings, Medusa’s Menagerie situates the artist for the first time within the context of his scholarly contemporaries, revealing an unknown side of the Golden Century of Netherlandish painting, and illuminating how scientific advances influenced the region’s artistic fascination with the dark, the hidden, and the uncanny.
 
Contents
Foreword
Contemporary Sources on Otto Mareus
 
Gero Seelig
Otto MArseus van Schrieck: Reflections of Art, Nature, and Sicence
 
The Power of Art- Peter Paul Rubens
The Artist’s Visage- Arnold Houbraken
Pleasant Frisson- Matthias Withoos
Animals in Still Lifes from the 1620s
Evert Marseus- Two Paintings by the Brother
Early Paintings by Otto Marseus
Flower Still Lifes from Otto Marseus
Three Snakes with Tulip- Otto Marseus
The Second Skin- Johan Teyler
Otto Marseus’s Snakes
Rachel Ruysch Reworks a Composition by Otto Marseus
 
Eric Jorink Between Rome and Amsterdam: The Artistic and Scientific Networks of Otto Marseus van Schrieck
Otto Marseus and Florence
Johannes Swammerdam (1637-80)
The Initial Revelation- Swammerdam’s Bible of Nature
Johannes Goedaert- The Book of Metamorphosis
Balthasar de Monconys (1611-65)
Johannes Hudde (1628-1704)
Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731)
Jacob de Wilde Welcomes the Tsar
The Realm of Books
Bert van de Roemer Art Opens the Book of Nature: Skillfulness and Knowledge in Dutch Curiosity Cabinets around 1700
The Reality of Animals- Jan van Kessel
The Theatre of Natural Marvels- Levinus Vincent
Agnes Block (1629-1704)
The Msitress of the Garden- Jan Weenix
The Fruits of Labour- Peeter Gijsels
Leiden University and Its Botanical Garden
Otto Marseus as a Draughtsman
Drawings Attributed to Otto Marseus
The Thesaurus of Albertus Seba
Frogs to Fishes
 
Karin Leonhard Psychomachia: The Forest Floor Still Life in the Agon of the Forces
Forest Floor Still Lifes with Toadstools from Otto Marseus
Secrets of Forest Life- Otto Marseus
Exotic Appearance- Elias van den Broeck
The Largest Thistle- Otto Marseus
The Thistle Motif in Marseus’s Contemporaries
Late Plant Pictures by Otto Marseus
 
Appendix
Bibliography
List of Works Exhibited
Index
Photo Credits
Imprint
 
Review Quotes
Chris Carroll | New York Review of Books
“It is part of the charm of these paintings that they are as much works of Marseus’s imagination as of scientific observation. This is what is so beguiling about his art—one can see in it changing modes of thought at work, a gradual groping toward a world of scientific accuracy, even as the arrangement of the lush, unearthly plants and the animals, with their wonderful, quizzical expressiveness, seems to spring from the mind of the painter, presented for maximum visual appeal and delight.” 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Hirmer Publishers. RSS Feed