BIO&IMAGO. Biodiversity, Image-diversity, and Techno-diversity in early modern Europe

Project Details


Decreasing biodiversity is one of the main problems we are facing
today. Today, the protection and documentation of biodiversity is
embedded in a complex array of 1) knowledge, 2) commercial interests,
and 3) media. This is not a contemporary phenomenon: it has a long
history that entered a crucial new phase in the period 1500-1800. The
early modern period was a time of new global trade, new scientific
practices, and new media. Nature’s ‘diversity’, ‘variety’, or ‘copia’ (the
Latin term meaning ‘plenty, abundance, a copious quantity’) took
center stage.
This project investigates early modern biodiversity in the making. The
main question is: how knowledge of nature and all its variety was
formed through the making of imagery and the utilization of nature?
In other words, how knowledge of biodiversity was formed through
image-diversity and techno-diversity. This project will thus result in a
new history of biodiversity, that helps shed light today’s multifaceted
issue of biodiversity.
Effective start/end date1/09/2331/08/27


  • Art history
  • history of technology
  • history of science
  • early modern Europe
  • history of biodiversity
  • history of printmaking
  • history of collecting

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Arts and cultural policy


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