Originally formed by Prince Federico Cesi in the early seventeenth century and later acquired by Cassiano, these drawings constitute the first truly scientific study of fossilized woods and are executed with great finesse, skill and detail.
"Provides us with a rare pictorial glimpse of how early seventeenthcentury scientists perceived their world. It publishes for the first time the oldest known examples of geological field sketches and drawings of fossil wood specimens. (...) Scott & Freedberg's Book will prove to be an important resource for all those interested in the history of geology, and is a must for all university libraries." (Howard J. Falcon-Lang in: Geological Magazine, Vol.138/4, 2001, p.507-508)
Andrew C. Scott is Distinguished Research Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he was Professor of Applied Palaeobotany in the Department of Geology and Director of Science and the Media. He is a leading authority on the preservation of fossil plants and the origin of coal, and has written extensively on aspects of palaeobotany and palynology, terrestrial palaeoecology, fire, plant-animal interactions, fossil fuels and on geology and art.
David Freedberg is Professor of the History of Art and Director of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University. He was also Director of the Warburg Institute at the University of London and has written extensively on the art and culture of the seventeenth century, including the intersection of art and science in the age of Galileo, most notably in The Eye of the Lynx (2002).
This new Catalogue Raisonné, Part III in the series on Natural History, is based on the collection originally formed by Prince Federico Cesi in the ear- ly 17th century and later acquired by Cassiano. These drawings constitute the first truly scientific study of fossilized woods and are executed with such finesse, skill and detail that they will be of immense interest both to art-historians and to historians of science. The drawings, the majority of which have remained unstudied and unpublished until now, include specimens of wood and animal fossils, ammonites and concretions, pyrits and baked clays, as well as a series of field drawings giving the sites where these specimens were found. The introductory essays discuss the background to Cesi's project as well as the importance of the drawings to the history of seventeenth- century culture and science. 'Scott & Freedberg's book will prove to be an important resource for all those interested in the history of geology, and it is a must for all university libraries.' (Howard J. Falcon-Lang in Geological Magazine, Volume 138/4 - 2001)