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Curious Fish: Connections Between Some Sixteenth-Century Watercolours And Prints

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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about the two sets of remarkably similar pictures of fish belonging to two very different sixteenth-century collections of watercolours depicting naturalia. The first collection Libri Picturati belongs to aristocratic collector Charles de Saint Omer. The second collection consists of the richly illustrated manuscript albums with the titles Visboock and Walvisboock that were written and illustrated by Adriaen Coenen, the self-taught son of a local fisherman. The gap between a vast collection belonging to an aristocratic collector of curiosities and the personal albums of a self-taught Dutchman of humble background is considerable. So why do these pictures resemble each other so closely? The chapter addresses this question.

Keywords: AdriaenCoenen; Charles de Saint Omer; curious fish; Libri Picturati; sixteenth-century prints; sixteenth-century watercolours; Visboock; Walvisboock



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