The beginning of global commerce in the early modern period had an enormous impact on European culture, changing the very way people perceived the world around them. Merchants and Marvels assembles essays by leading scholars of cultural history, art history, and the history of science and technology to show how ideas about the representation of nature, in both art and science, underwent a profound transformation between the age of the Renaissance and the early 1700s.
The essays address intriguing topics like the Dutch tulipmania of 1637, the relationship between alchemy and commercial exchange in the Holy Roman Empire, the traffic in "curiosities" in Italy, and how Spanish sea charts reflected territorial claims in the 1500s. Merchants and Marvels is a intriguing work lining the borders feast for intellectually curious readers who enjoy works like Lawrence Weschl cultural, social and economic history, material culture and art history within this rarest of creatures: a tightly coherent and highly readable volume.
The sixer's Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder or Dava Sobel's Longitude.