Theatrum universale omnium animalium

John Johnston (Jan Jonston, 1603–1675) was a Polish scholar and physician of Scottish origin. His encyclopaedic work, published in the 1650s, describes the Animal Kingdom but it even provides insight into the world of mythological creatures. The exhibited issue of Theatrum universale omnium animalium (1718, Amsterdam) also contains the descriptions and figures of 100 East Indian fishes from the collection of Hendrik Ruysch. The book is adorned by 238 etchings made in the workshop of the engraver Matthäus Merian in Frankfurt, mainly on the basis of Gesner’s and Aldrovandi’s works.

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