Amazing Rare Things:
The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery

Published in association with The British Monarchy Royal Collection

Sir David Attenborough, Susan Owens, Martin Clayton and Rea Alexandratos

Transcendent
—The Washington Post

A true feast
—Publishers Weekly

Superb
—Library Journal

From the fifteenth century onwards, as European explorers sailed forth on grand voyages of discovery, their encounters with exotic plants and animals fanned intense scientific interest. Scholars began to examine nature with fresh eyes, and pioneering artists transformed the way nature was seen and understood. In Amazing Rare Things, renowned naturalist and documentary-maker Sir David Attenborough joins with expert colleagues to explore how artists chose to portray the natural world during this era of burgeoning scientific interest.

The book focuses on an exquisite selection of natural history drawings and watercolors by Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander Marshal, Maria Sibylla Merian, and Mark Catesby and from the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. These works—all held in The Royal Library at Windsor Castle—reflect each artist’s extraordinary engagement with the natural world.

Sir David Attenborough’s distinguished career in broadcasting spans more than fifty years. A pioneer of the nature documentary, he has written and presented nine major television series on virtually every aspect of life on Earth. He was knighted in 1985.

Susan Owens is assistant curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle.
Martin Clayton is deputy curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle.

Rea Alexandratos is coordinator of the Dal Pozzo Catalogue Project.

Softcover
7 ⅝ x 9 ⅞ inches | 224 pages | 160 full color drawings and watercolors
ISBN 978-0-9798456-2-8
US $24.95 | Nature