dreaming of a life after cubicles


Old engravings of animals are charmingly strange
November 23, 2006, 9:13 am
Filed under: art, graphic design, print, retro

Mark Frauenfelder: Bibliodyssey has an excellent gallery of 18th century engravings from ‘Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen’ at Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon (named as ‘Histoire naturelle des quadrupèdes’.

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The absurd rendering of many of the animals comes about because the engravers/artists working on the project did not actually see the animals. They had to rely on descriptions and their imagination and, as was the fashion of the time, the animals were placed in contrived settings and often given human facial qualities, which only serves to heighten the sense of bizarre. And thankful we are too.

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