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Science, Commerce, and Art: Neglected Topics at the Junction of History and Art History

Freedberg, David A.

Ever since my youth I have been engaged in the examination of insects. I began with silkworms in my native city of Frankfurt, but then, noticing that much more beautiful butterflies, both nocturnal and diurnal, emerged from caterpillars, I was moved to gather together all the caterpillars I could find and to make observations of the metamorphoses. For this reason I set aside my social life and devoted all my time to these observations and to improving my abilities in the art of painting, so that I could both draw individual specimens and paint them in lively colors. The result was that I was able to gather together, quite beautifully painting by me on sheets of vellum, all the insects that I found, first in Frankfurt and then in Nuremberg.


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Also Published In

Art in History/History in Art: Studies in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Culture
Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities

More About This Work

Academic Units
Art History and Archaeology
Published Here
April 6, 2010