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The Museo Cartaceo or Paper Museum is a collection of more than 7000 watercolours, drawings and prints, assembled during the first half of the seventeenth century by the famous Roman patron and collector Cassiano dal Pozzo. It represents one of the most significant attempts ever made – before the age of photography – to embrace all human knowledge in visual form.
Documenting botany, geology, ornithology and zoology (as well as ancient art and archaeology), the collection constitutes a visual `data-base' that provides us today with a significant tool for our understanding of the culture and intellectual concerns of a period that witnessed a scientific revolution - a period during which the foundations of our own modern methods of research and classification were laid.
Volumes are in a uniform format (210 × 280 mm). They contain Introductory Essays and a Catalogue Raisonné of every drawing pertaining to that topic, giving full descriptions, details of media, annotations, inscriptions, drawing sheets, mount-sheets, watermarks, provenance and literature. Every volume also includes concordances, exhaustive bibliographies and indexes.