Nature's Design: Plants, Pictures, and Artistic Expertise in Early Modern Europe

02 January 2022 → 01 January 2026
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Early modern history
    • History of art
    • Graphic arts
    • Painting and drawing
    • Printmaking
Prints Nature Plants Drawings Art Early Modern Europe
Project description

The project investigates representations of nature, particularly plant imagery, as a global site of visual innovation c. 1450-1650.  It examines the production of botanical pictures and plant-related artifacts resulting from transregional relations in Northern Europe, as image-making, particularly drawing, emerged a powerful tool of control and expertise: the mastery of draftsmanship reflected the possession of a body of specialized practical and descriptive skills (regarding nature and the graphic tools to depict it), largely founded on experience. The project aims to: document discourses on nature and image-making; assess the implications of drawing as an analytical, artistic, and scientific skill; explore and re-evaluate specific plant-related objects (e.g. prints, pattern books, drawings) as foundational graphic matrices, as visual templates were transplanted and reinvented from one graphic environment to another.