Gottorp Kunstkammer

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gottorp Kunstkammer

Arcimboldo permutations
This riff on Giuseppe Arcimboldo's (wikipedia) 'The Four Seasons'
is appropriately timed (well, appropriate if you are in Austria
in the next six weeks anyway) --- the first-ever full-scale survey
dedicated to the proto-Surrealist’s work is currently on display
at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (ends 1 June 2008).
Addit: see Guardian Arts story: 'Natural Wonders'



Bats and birds

Chameleon and friends

Armadillo and friends

Squid - cabinet of curiosities

Seahorse and weird sea creatures

Sea Creatures

Various sea creatures - Gottorp Kunstkammer

Cultural portraits

Inuit - Cabinet of Wonders

More Cultural portraits

German scholar Adam Olearius (1603-1671) is remembered because of his diplomatic activities on behalf of his home state of Holstein. He was part of two ambassadorial delegations that visited Russia and later, Persia, seeking to establish an overland trade route to Persia.

The commercial aims of the journeys were largely unsuccessful but Olearius afterwards published his detailed observations in a travel book that had several editions and translations and which introduced Europe to Persian culture.

Beyond his diplomatic envoy role, Olearius was employed by Duke Frederick III of Holstein-Gottorp in a number of functionary positions. As librarian he helped expand the book and manuscript holdings of the Duke and as keeper of the Cabinet of Curiosities, Olearius purchased key regional collections and saw to it that Oriental specimens were included in the exhibit.

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