Monstrosities Illustrated

Illustrations in the 1665 edition of Fortunio Liceti’s ‘De Monstris’. The book itself was published in 1616 but there were no illustrations to embellish it.

17th century was a golden age for any kinds of curiosities: pygmies, supposed mermaids, deformed fetuses, conjoined twins and other natural marvels were put on display and widely discussed, becoming the circus freak-shows of their time.

Fortunio Liceti had a very modern approach to such abnormalities. This is his view on the topic:

“It is said that I see the convergence of both Nature and art,’ wrote Liceti, ‘because one or the other not being able to make what they want, they at least make what they can.”

Like it? Share it!

Photo Gallery