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Plants And Animals: The Natural World In The De Bry Collection

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Chapter Summary

Man?s right to rule over both animals and plants had nevertheless remained intact. The natural world was principally created to accommodate humanity, and additionally deserved to be admired and studied as one of the prime demonstrations of Divine omnipotence, the second book of God. These notions were still intact around 1600, and the representation of the natural world in the De Bry collection is clearly embedded in this anthropocentric framework. Many of the landscapes depicted by the De Brys, displaying mountains, rivers, and forests, or even earthquakes and torrential rainstorms, disclose an unbridled type of overseas nature which early modern Europeans resented. The presence of evidently wild species, of no use to humans, provides an indication of the hierarchy of overseas societies in Divine creation. Untamed animals were found throughout the De Bry collection, as they embodied the alterity of the natural world overseas.

Keywords: animals; De Bry collection; Divine creation; modern Europeans; natural world; overseas societies; plants; wild species



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