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An unusual collaboration among distinguished art historians and historians of science, this book demonstrates how printmakers of the Northern Renaissance, far from merely illustrating the ideas of others, contributed to scientific investigations of their time. Hans Holbein, for instance, worked with cosmographers and instrument makers on some of the earliest sundial manuals published; Albrecht Durer produced the first printed maps of the constellations, which astronomers copied for over a century; and Hendrick Goltzius's depiction of the muscle-bound Hercules served as a study aid for students of anatomy. Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europefeatures fascinating reproductions of woodcuts, engravings, and etchings; maps, globe gores, and globes; multilayered anatomical "flap" prints; and paper scientific instruments used for observation and measurement. Among the "do-it-yourself" paper instruments were sundials and astrolabes, and the book incorporates a facsimile of globe gores for the reader to cut out and assemble.
Susan Dackerman is Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints, Harvard Art Museums.