Contested Vision

Comparison and Collaboration in Nehemiah Grew’s Plant Anatomy Illustrations

In: Nuncius
Pamela Mackenzie University of British Columbia Canada Vancouver, BC
Max-Planck-Institut 4A Laboratory, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz Germany Berlin

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In the seventeenth century, an early member of the Royal Society named Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712) was among the first naturalists to produce illustrations of microscopic plant life. These images were completed according to a set of visual conventions that were informed by his peers but also reflect a distinctive set of concerns and a particular understanding of the natural world. In order to better understand the specificity of Grew’s representations of the microscopic world, this article considers his work in relationship to that of his direct contemporary, the Italian naturalist and physician Marcello Malpighi (1628–1694).

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