Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

5 Snakes, Fungi and Insects. Otto Marseus van Schrieck, Johannes Swammerdam and the Theory of Spontaneous Generation

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

In the cold winter of 1667-68, the young Florentine Prince Cosimo de' Medici started a journey through Northern Europe, not to escape the horrors of a dynastic marriage, but with the explicit aim of learning about the blossoming intellectual and artistic culture in England and the Dutch Republic. The first painter whom the prince met was Otto Marseus van Schrieck, the creator of a strange genre of paintings in which snakes, insects and toads were depicted in mutual combat, against a dark background of thistles, fungi and moss. Johannes Goedaert who was pious painter, born around the same time as Marseus, and was an enthusiastic advocate of the theory of spontaneous generation, and described watching with his own eyes as two identical caterpillars died and different insects then emerged from their remains.

Keywords: artistic culture; Dutch Republic; Johannes Goedaert; Otto Marseus van Schrieck; theory of spontaneous generation



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Zoology in Early Modern Culture: Intersections of Science, Theology, Philology, and Political and Religious Education — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation