FYS 188: Exploration of the Marvelous: Art and Science in the Renaissance
In the Renaissance, art and science were not seen as separate disciplines, and private museums exhibited collections of fossils and stuffed crocodiles intermingled with paintings and sculptures. As exploration of the world and trade among nations increased, exotic plants and animals flowed into European ports and were snapped up by collectors, who were also avidly collecting works of art. Often, nature and art were combined, as in an ostrich egg adorned with gold, jewels and coral. These collections were the precursors to our modern museums, but more importantly, they were at the center of the search for knowledge in the Renaissance. Some collectors specialized in creating gardens of exotic plants, and many of these plants were used in human medicine. Paintings and drawings as well as maps were an integral part of these collections, exemplifying the art and science connection.