Well, I don’t know about you but despite an unhealthy diet of sci-fi and horror films during my formative years, these big bulging bug-eyes and protruding antennae certainly send shivers down my spine! But just think how bizarre and frightening they must have seemed to viewers when this copper-plate engraving was first produced in 1665! Believe it or not this alien creature is a common louse as drawn by Robert Hooke (1635-1703) in his landmark work Micrographia in which he used the microscope to analyse and make visible formerly hidden objects and common creatures. The Micrographia had a far-reaching impact, encouraging people to look at the world around them in a whole new way. The University of Glasgow’s copy, alongside two other interesting books we are lending, will take pride of place in a brand new exhibition Treasure Island: British Art from Holbein to Hockney which commences in the Fundación Juan March, Madrid this Friday, 5th October.
The exhibition presents over 180 pieces – paintings, sculptures, works on paper, books, magazines, manifestos and photographs – produced by more than a hundred different artists, giving an account of the arts in Great Britain that makes manifest the power and particular significance of certain creators and works. The exhibition title speaks to the conviction that the island of Britain has not been explored fully and that it conceals a real treasure in its art, its painting and sculpture, which, like almost every treasure, remains half-hidden, yet to be discovered.
So if you are lucky enough to be in Madrid at some point over the next few months do drop into the exhibition – having seen some of the amazing paintings, sculptures and books being unwrapped and set up in preparation for the opening I can assure you, it’ll certainly be worth your while!
Categories: Special Collections