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  • No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · The Lancet
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    ABSTRACT: The Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) is reputed to have transformed botanical practice by shunning the process of illustrating plants and relying on the primacy of literary descriptions of plant specimens. Botanists and historians have long debated Linnaeus's capacities as a draftsman. While some of his detailed sketches of plants and insects reveal a sure hand, his more general drawings of landscapes and people seem ill-executed. The overwhelming consensus, based mostly on his Lapland diary (1732), is that Linnaeus could not draw. Little has been said, however, on the role of drawing and other visual representations in Linnaeus's daily work as seen in his other numerous manuscripts. These manuscripts, held mostly at the Linnean Society of London, are peppered with sketches, maps, tables, and diagrams. Reassessing these manuscripts, along with the printed works that also contain illustrations of plant species, shows that Linnaeus's thinking was profoundly visual and that he routinely used visual representational devices in his various publications. This paper aims to explore the full range of visual representations Linnaeus used through his working life, and to reevaluate the epistemological value of visualization in the making of natural knowledge. By analyzing Linnaeus's use of drawings, maps, tables, and diagrams, I will show that he did not, as has been asserted, reduce the discipline of botany to text, and that his visual thinking played a fundamental role in his construction of new systems of classification.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Le Traitté general des oyseaux est un ouvrage écrit en 1660 par Jean B. Faultrier, qui fut contrôleur des fauconneries du roi Louis XIV au sein des chasses royales. Le manuscrit, long de 787 pages et sans illustrations, fut dédié au surintendant des finances de Louis XIV, le puissant Nicolas Fouquet, juste un an avant la chute et l'emprisonnement de ce dernier. Cet article a pour but de comprendre comment Faultrier travaillait, ainsi que son objectif en publiant un tel ouvrage, qui est un des seuls textes français du XVIIe siècle concernant l'ornithologie. L'analyse du texte a révélé que Faultrier utilisa des sources diverses afin de rédiger son traité: les histoires naturelles d'Aldrovandi et de Belon, des traités de fauconnerie, des manuels italiens d'oisellerie, les récits de voyage de Thevet, et des ouvrages d'agronomie. Le manuscrit de Faultrier rassembla plusieurs facettes de l'ornithologie, et mit sur un même plan histoire naturelle, chasse et oisellerie. Bien que similaire au De avibus de Jonston (1650), ce manuscrit ne fut jamais imprimé. Dans sa forme, le traité rappelle les encyclopédies d'ornithologie de la Renaissance, alors que dans sa portée et dans ses objectifs, il préfigure les ouvrages ornithologiques du siècle des Lumières.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Anthropozoologica
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