The History of Monsters, Ulisse Aldrovandi – 1642 First Edition
Ulisses Aldrovandi. Bononiæ [Bologna]: Nicolò Tebaldini, 1642. Folio. , 748,  pp. Half leather with marbled boards. Light edge ware to four edges of boards. Title page restored with rice paper backing. Very good.
Ulisse Aldrovandi (Bologna 1522 - 1605?) was an Italian scientist and naturalist who edited this history of monsters.
This book is beyond fantastic: A magnificent work with hundreds of illustrations. Some of them are human beings with serious deformities that nobody knew about, others are representations of mythological beings, such as satyrs, sea monsters or centaurs, there are even animal fusions with horrible results.
Natural science is mixed with myth mixed with hearsay. There are drawings of absurd monsters Aldrovandi had heard were common in Asia and America, illustrated accounts of odd events: a woman bleeding stalks of wheat. A rain of crucifixes, a deer growing a giant tree out of its head.
You can see numerous echoes of Aldrovandi in the look and aesthetics of horror and science-fiction film, in surrealist painting, in the work of say Otto Dix or Leonora Carrington or Max Ernst. It is clear to us that Giger owned a copy of this book when he designed his Alien, that Jim Henson based some of the features of the more monstrous muppets on Aldrovandi’s illustrations.
This is a book full of philosophical and moral questions. It talks about virtues, miracles, history, metamorphoses, unknown animals, religion and medicine, all through the eyes and illustrative might of a masterful age of enlightenment mind.
- Composition: N/A
- Color: Multi
- Made in the USA
Product Code 872267
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