Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Nature study (art)
(2,283 words)

1. Definition

The term nature study, in art, denotes a practice determined by direct visual contact between the drawer or painter and the natural subject. The creative act is determined by the interplay of eye and hand, with the aim of committing what is seen to the paper or canvas at hand (cf. fig. 1; Mimesis). Nature study is an expression of the early modern relation to nature (Nature, relation to), and is closely associated with the emergence of a pictorial culture that was indebted to visual experience in a particular way.

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Scherb, Johanna, “Nature study (art)”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024667>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128

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