To mark the quincentenary of the birth of the famed Italian natural historian Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605), the Edward Worth Library and the Zoologial Museum of Trinity College Dublin have co-curated a web exhibition called “Reading the Book of Nature,” which juxtaposes images from the Worth Library’s set of Aldrovandi’s natural history volumes with specimen’s from the Zoological Museum’s collection.
The online exhibition investigates the zoological discoveries of the early modern period as reflected in Worth’s wonderful set of volumes by Aldrovandi. In the main it follows Aldrovandi’s own preoccupations: exploring birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mollusca, crustacea, insects, plants and geology. Aldrovandi was fascinated by all forms in nature and not only also paid attention to domestic and more exotic specimens, he also included some more mythical animals among his volume of monsters. It was a huge endeavour and many of the volumes were printed long after his death in 1605. Worth, a connoisseur collector, was the proud owner of a particularly beautiful copy, previously owned by Louis-Henri Loménie, Comte de Brienne (1635–98).[EWL/ZM]
Explore the full online exhbition here: https://aldrovandi.edwardworthlibrary.ie/