I-40. The Illustrated Scientific Book to 1800 - Advance Reading List

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  • Required Reading

    Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Oxford: 1972; reprinted with corrections 1974 and 1979; New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 1995, 2009).

    -Read all of the first section, “Book Production: The Hand-press Period, 1500–1800” (pp. 1–170), this is important, and the first part of the final section, “Bibliographical Applications” (pp. 311–335).

    Griffiths, Antony. Prints and PrintmakingLondon: British Museum Press, 1980; reprinted Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1996.

    -Read the first two sections on relief printing and intaglio printing (pp. 13–99) and the short section on color printing (pp. 113–119). We will not be dealing with lithography.

    Gaskell, Roger. “Printing House and Engraving Shop. A Mysterious Collaboration.” The Book Collector 53 (2004): 213–251. and Gaskell, Roger. “Printing House and Engraving Shop, Part II. Further Thoughts on ‘Printing and Engraving Shop: A Mysterious Collaboration.” The Book Collector 67 (2018): 788–97.

    -Both can be downloaded from my Academia.edu page, here Gaskell 2004 and here Gaskell 2018

    Kusukawa, Sachiko. Picturing the Book of Nature: Image, Text, and Argument in Sixteenth-Century Human Anatomy and Medical BotanyChicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

    -This is one of the few studies of scientific illustration that pays attention to the scientific book, read some of the chapters that interest you.

    Neville, Sarah. Early Modern Herbals and the Book Trade: English Stationers and the Commodification of Botany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022. Open Access on Cambridge Core at doi.org/10.1017/9781009031615.

    – An important new work discussing early English herbals as commercial products whose form and content were the result of publishing decisions. Read the introduction: doi.org/10.1017/9781009031615.002.

  • Recommended Reading

    History of science

    Cohen, I. Bernard. Album of Science: from Leonardo to Lavoisier 1450–1800. New York: Scribner, 1980.

    -A picture book with good short summaries of the key topics.

    Whitfield, Peter. Landmarks in Western Science from prehistory to the atomic age. London: The British Library, 1999

    -A good introduction to the canonical books in the history of science with plenty of illustrations.

    Fara, Patricia. Science: A Four Thousand Year History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

    -A social and cultural history of science.

    Bauer, Susan Wise, The Story of Western Science from the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang, New York and London, W.W. Norton & co. 2015

    -The great men version, heavily text based, an easy read.

    Visual culture of scientific images

    Doherty, Meghan C. Engraving Accuracy in Early Modern England. Visual Communication and the Royal Society. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2022 (to be published in March).

    Hentschel, Klaus. Visual Cultures in Science and Technology: A Comparative History. First edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

    -A meta-analysis of a large range of case studies.

    Ivins, William M. Prints and Visual Communication. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 1953; reprinted 1969.

    -Often cited and still thought provoking.

    Books of essays providing a good range of approaches to scientific illustration, for example

    Baigrie, Brian S. Picturing Knowledge. Historical and Philosophical Problems Concerning the Use of Art in Science. Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 1996.

    – The volume includes essays by Martin Kemp on Vesalius and Copernicus and Baigrie on Descartes as well as David Topper’s “Towards and Epistemology of Scientific Illustration.”

    Lefèvre, Wolfgang, Jürgen Renn, and Urs Schoepflin, eds. The Power of Images in Early Modern Science. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, 2003.

    -All the essays are good and relevant: try Ogilvie, Brian W. “Image and Text in Natural History, 1500-1700.”, pp. 141–166.

    Mazzolini, Renato G, ed. Non-Verbal Communication in Science Prior to 1900. Biblioteca Di Nuncius 11. Firenze: Olschki, 1993.

    -I especially like Roche, John J. “The Semantics of Graphics in Mathematical Natural History.” 197–233.

    Jardine, Nicholas, James A Secord, and E. C Spary. Cultures of Natural History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

    Curry, H. A., Nicholas Jardine, James A. Secord, and E. C. Spary. Worlds of Natural History. Cambridge: University Press, 2018.

    -Daniela Bleichmar’s chapter ‘Botanical conqistadors’ has a lot to say about the way illustrations are constructed and do their work.

    For particular genres

    Cazort, Mimi, Monique Kornell and K. B. Roberts. The Ingenious Machine of Nature: Four Centuries of Art and Anatomy. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1996.

    -Based on an exhibition, this collection of three long essays and a catalogue of the exhibition is the best guide to anatomical illustration.

    Carpo, Mario. Architecture in the Age of Printing: Orality, Writing, Typography, and Printed Images in the History of Architectural Theory. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: MIT Press, 2001.

    Blunt, Wilfrid, and William T. Stearn. The Art of Botanical Illustration. New ed., rev. and enl. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors’ Club in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 1994.

    Jackson, Christine E. Bird etchings.The Illustrators and their Books 1655–1855. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1985

    Tongiorgi Tomasi, Lucia and Tony Willis. An Oak Spring Herbaria. Herbs and Herbals from the Fourteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries. Upperville, VA: Oak Spring Garden Library, 2009

    – This and the companion Sylva, Pomona and Flora are available as searchable e-books here.