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Curious Beasts: Animal Prints from the British Museum

Author Alison E Wright
Translator Hala Drog
Publish Year
ISBN 9789948134992
Price AED 40
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This book contains a unique collection of paintings owned by the British museum, dating back to the fifteenth century and the early years of the nineteenth century. This book surrounds the reader with a pattern of vivid, visual culture. The book demonstrates and lists masterpieces of Durer, Goya, Stoop and Buick, in addition to wonderful paintings produced by less famous painters. All of the paintings at hand portray a range of beautiful and exotic creatures. Examples include: the dead whale lying on the sand, pig monster, and the infamous porcupine.  The images in the book express a sense of curiosity towards the natural world, which coincided with the invention of printing in Europe. Prior to the invention of photography, printed images were the main method of information exchange (regardless of whether they were true or false) on new and already familiar animal species - equally. Perceptions toward animals were mainly based on their relationship with the world of humans. Many animals have been offered for interpretation, according to what they represent or the ethical preachings they offer. On the other hand, images of hunting, ranching and zoological gardens showcase the permanent reliance of human beings on such animals.