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Peter Paul Rubens and the bird of paradise: natural knowledge and painting in 17th-century Europe

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By examining several works by the renowned Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, this paper studies the bird of paradise as a motif in seventeenth-century European painting. Its aim is not only to explore the contribution of artists and paintings to the dissemination of natural knowledge in early modern Europe but also to analyse early modern visual culture as part of a rich social and cultural context shaped by religiosity and political power as well as collecting and global trade.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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