cover of book

Renaissance Invention: Stradanus's Nova Reperta
by Lia Markey
contributions by Madeleine C. Viljoen, Debora Wood, Jim Akerman, Christopher Fletcher, Jill Gage, Megan Kelly, Analú Lopez, Isabella Magni, Martin Antonetti, Niall Atkinson, David Cressy, Karen Bowen, James Clifton, Matthew James Crawford, Ikumi Crocoll, Olivia Dill, Sven Dupré, Andrew Epps, Christine Göttler, Marisa Guo, Deborah Howard, Pedro Raposo, Dirk Imhof, Elisa Jones, Suzanne Karr Schmidt, Jessica Keating, Stephanie Lee, Dániel Margócsy, Jennifer Nelson, Claire Ptaschinski, Sandra Racek, Alessandra Foscati, J.B. Shank, Risa Puleo, Luca Molà, Rebecca Zorach, Pamela Smith, McKenzie Stupica, John Sullivan, Claudia Swan and Alexandra Thomas
Northwestern University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-8101-4202-2
Library of Congress Classification NE674.S8A69 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 769.92

This book is the first full-length study of the Nova Reperta (New Discoveries), a renowned series of prints designed by Johannes Stradanus during the late 1580s in Florence. Reproductions of the prints, essays, conversations from a scholarly symposium, and catalogue entries complement a Newberry Library exhibition that tells the story of the design, conception, and reception of Stradanus’s engravings.
Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s “Nova Reperta” seeks to understand why certain inventions or novelties were represented in the series and how that presentation reflected and fostered their adoption in the sixteenth century. What can Stradanus’s prints tell us about invention and cross-cultural encounter in the Renaissance? What was considered “new” in the era? Who created change and technological innovation?
Through images of group activities and interactions in workshops, Stradanus’s prints emphasize the importance of collaboration in the creation of new things, dispelling traditional notions of individual genius. The series also dismisses the assumption that the revival of the wonders of the ancient world in Italy was the catalyst for transformation. In fact, the Latin captions on the prints explain how contemporary inventions surpass those of the ancients. Together, word and image foreground the global nature of invention and change in the early modern period even as they promote specifically Florentine interests and activities. 
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