By Matthäus Merian (the Younger), Carol Belanger Grafton
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Extra info for 1300 Real and Fanciful Animals from Seventeenth-Century Engravings
Matthäus Merian the Younger, who had inherited the business after the death of his father, Matthäus Merian the Elder, in 1650, continued publishing a variety of illustrated works until his own death in 1687. The younger Merian, born in Switzerland in 1621, was a portrait painter, etcher, and engraver who traveled in his youth to Amsterdam, London, and Paris. He also lived in Italy and in Nuremberg for a total of eight years before he took over the management of the workshop that in his father’s time had been renowned for producing engraved views and plans of European towns and cities.
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Historia Universalis. In 1718, the Amsterdam firm of R. & G. Wetstenios published the 260 engraved plates of images from Theatrum universale omnium Animalium in two volumes, with Latin texts on the natural history of the animals by Heinrich Ruysch (a professor of botany and medicine) and John Johnston (also a medical doctor), each of whom had large collections of specimens. The work was divided into six main sections, depicting fish, birds, quadrupeds, mollusks and crustaceans, terrestrial and aquatic insects, and snakes.