Published in conjunction with the eponymous traveling exhibition, this catalogue includes natural history illustrations, old master engravings and popular prints from Dürer to Bewick.
    Art in Print

    Curious beasts demand a curious publication, and one need look no further than a whimsical new catalogue for an engaging account of the British Museum’s diverse collection of animal prints.
    Print Quarterly

    Curious Beasts: Animal Prints from the British Museum

    SKU: cmc26883

    £9.99 Members' price *


    A beached whale near Beverwijk, The Camelopard, The Monstrous Pig, The Famous Porcupine, Dürer’s Rhinoceros: these are but a few of the beautiful and bizarre creatures that feature in this delightful book.

    Works by Goya, Dürer, Stubbs and Bewick stand alongside prints by less familiar artists, each selected for its graphic strength, charm and narrative interest. Here are natural history studies, masterpieces from the British Museum's exceptional and international collection of religious and classical old master prints, genre pieces, book illustrations, satires and popular prints.

    This title accompanies the British Museum touring exhibition Curious beasts: animal prints from Dürer to Goya, 5 October 2013 to 15 December 2013 at the Compton Verney gallery in Warwickshire.

    More about Animal Prints from the British Museum

    In the visual arts of the fifteenth to the early nineteenth centuries in Europe, animals were understood in relation to the human world. They were used as symbols or in allegory (characters representing abstract ideas in poetry or prose). They were also seen as essentially useful to mankind, whether as animals of the farm, estate or household, or as menageries (animal exhibits) in travelling shows.

    At the same time, rapidly increasing investigation of the natural world engaged artists in the problems of accurate representation. Prints were particularly important in the dissemination of natural historical information (or misinformation) across a wide, international audience.

    Emphasising the connections between prints which may appear to be very different, the book explores how and why people engage with the natural world, how it can challenge or meet their expectations, and how this is reflected in the variety of prints made in this period.


    Alison E. Wright is a curator of prints and drawings at the British Museum and curator of the Museum’s touring exhibition, Curious beasts: animal prints from Dürer to Goya.


    Product code: cmc26883
    Exhibition: Curious Beasts
    Title: Curious Beasts
    Subtitle: Animal Prints from the British Museum
    Author: Alison E. Wright
    ISBN: 978 0 7141 2688 3
    Format: Paperback with flaps
    Number of pages: 112 pages
    Size: 19cm x 17cm
    llustrations: 100 colour illustrations
    Publication date: September 2013
    Weight: 0.332kg
    Standard UK delivery: 5 working days. Overseas times may vary

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