Pioneers of the Printed Paradise: Maarten de Vos, Jan Sadeler I and Emblematic Natural History in the Late Sixteenth Century
Herrin's contribution to the volume Zoology in Early Modern Culture: Intersections of Science, Theology, Philosophy, and Political and Religious Education is dedicated to the representation of animals in the early modern visual arts, and their intersections with theology, philology, and the 'modern' zoological knowledge displayed in the important manuals of the sixteenth century. In this essay, Herrin deals with the representation of biblical scenes from Genesis (The Creation of the Animals in Paradise) at the end of the sixteenth century and important zoological works that appeared in the second half of the same century, especially Gessner's Historia animalism (1st edition, 1551-1558). She focuses on a series of engravings invented by the Antwerp artist Maarten de Vos, 'Imago bonitatis' (c.1587), and executed by Jan Sadeler, which she convincingly explains in the context of the zoological interest and knowledge of the circles of artists in Antwerp, and later in Prague. Among the artists inspired by Gessner's animal illustrations were Marcus Gheeraerts, Adriaen Collaert, and Joris Hoefnaegl.