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The Feather Book of Dionisio Minaggio

This digital exhibition from the McGill University Library in Montreal offers visitors a look through a unique volume known as the Feather Book of Dionisio Minaggio, a work composed of "a collection of illustrations made completely of bird feathers - with a few added extras" such as the birds' beaks, claws, and skin. This curious book was created in 1618 by Dionisio Minaggio, the Duchy of Milan's chief gardener. Here, visitors can peruse all 156 of the Feather Book's plates. The first 114 plates depict various species of birds, such as shoveler ducks, Egyptian vultures, and green woodpeckers, most of which are found in the Lombardy region of Italy surrounding Milan. The remaining plates (which are also made of feathers) depict human figures and are grouped into collections of hunters, commedia dell'arte characters, musicians, and tradesmen. Each plate is accompanied by a brief description of its content and condition, and readers can click the images to view them at full resolution. Although the reasons for the Feather Book's creation are unknown, some scholars believe that it "may, in fact, represent the oldest collection of bird feathers - as bird specimens - in existence," making it scientifically as well as artistically valuable.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
GEM Subject
Date of Scout Publication
December 13th, 2019
Date Of Record Creation
December 9th, 2019 at 2:54pm
Date Of Record Release
December 10th, 2019 at 2:39pm
Resource URL Clicks
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