Kevin M. Isky '21, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Among the collections cabinets of the Renaissance, fish, in the forms of naturalia and artificialia, can be widely found. They were sought after for their beauty as well as their relation to the natural world. In the famous frontispiece to Ferrante Imperato’s Dell’historia naturale (1599), fish of varying kinds are hung against and atop the ceiling on either side of a large alligator. They are mixed between an assortment of crustaceans and shells, also sea creatures, including the prized nautilus shell found so abundantly in Renaissance culture. As seen in this frontispiece, fish could be found as decoration in collection cabinets, featured creatures of study in natural history books, and the subject of paintings. The cabinet here at Gettysburg features fish in those two forms of naturalia and artificilia to properly emulate the era. A skeleton of the Gar fish is displayed alongside the skeleton of a Perch. Each representing two sides of the commercial spectrum. Paired with the skeletons are prints of copper engravings done by Mark Catesby (1682-1749) from the second volume of his book The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (1754).[excerpt]
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Isky, Kevin M., "Skeletons In the Closet" (2017). Wonders of Nature and Artifice. 3.
Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture Commons, Fine Arts Commons, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Commons, Industrial and Product Design Commons, Intellectual History Commons