If I had to use one word to describe this book, it would be “astonishing.” Ebenstein has created a treasure for the English-speaking world in conceiving of and bringing to publication this book.

She tried for a number of years to “make it happen,” but only after liaising with Matthew Browne at the MIT Press, who champions the Leonardo charter of the reconciliation of art and science, did she see it eventually come to fruition.

The book is beautifully produced, graphically rich, and fully illustrated in color, a marvelous record for posterity of Frederik Ruysch’s Thesaurus Anatomicus. It is over 250 pages in length, together with the bizarre, surreal, morbid, and astonishing reproductions of Ruysch’s prolific embalming and preserving work of once-living fish, insects, and botanical specimens. There is an Introduction by Ebenstein, followed by eight informative essays with varying approaches to describing Ruysch’s life, philosophy, working methods, and controversies...

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