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The cabinet of curiosity | Santa Muerte

The cabinet of curiosity

Domenico Remps, Cabinet de curiosités, ca.  1690. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Domenico Remps,Cabinet of curiositiesca. 1690. Image via Wikimedia Commons.


Unicorn horns, mermaid skeletons, taxidermy animals, preserved plants, clocks, scientific instruments, celestial globes,relicsThese are the contents of Cabinets of curiosities, which became fashionable in royal and aristocratic households throughout Europe during the Renaissance, a period in history when man aspired to know everything as the effects of global exploration and scientific experimentation became more accessible.
Today, we use the term cabinet of curiosities to describe any fascinating accumulation of mysterious objects. The original definition of the cabinet of curiosities in the Renaissance was more precise. This meant a diverse and carefully curated collection of art and natural and artificial oddities that embodied the thirst for exploration and knowledge of the time, laying the foundation for museums as we know them today.

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Frans Francken le Jeune, Chambre d'art et de curiosités, 1636. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Frans Francken the Younger,Art and Curiosities Room1636. Image via Wikimedia Commons.


According to Quiccheberg, their content belonged to a variety of categories such as artificialia Artificial antiques and works of art; Naturalia Plants, animals, and other objects from nature; Scientific scientific instruments; exotica Objects from distant lands; and Wonders , a generic term for other wonders that evoke wonder.
Found in many corners of the globe, these objects represented a wide range of art, science, and mysticism - what Quiccheberg called a "theatre of the world". Some were as small as a cabinet, others as vast as a labyrinth of large rooms.

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Bracelet bead men Rosa by Santa Muerte

While the search for strange and wonderful objects "has been part of human evolution for immeasurable times," such as the a underline Wolfram Koeppe from Metropolitan Museum of Art In the Renaissance, this collection process flourished. The invention of the compass in the 13th century and subsequent improvements in cartography triggered an explosive period of exploration and global trade in the 1500s and 1600s. In this "age of exploration," leaders from all over Italy, Spain, and England sent explorers around the world in search of new territories and a deeper understanding of the world.
At the same time, science has become a defined discipline that sought to answer big questions about the earth, the skies, and the human body. While the Catholic Church was trying to ban scientific research - a threat to the theories advanced in the biblical texts - volumes detailing medical discoveries and the structure of the cosmos were being published en masse. 
Gravure de Ferrante Imperato, Dell'Historia Naturale, 1599. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Engraving by Ferrante Imperato, From Natural History 1599. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

In his residence in Naples, the Italian aristocrat and apothecary Ferrante Imperato assembled a dense and legendary cabinet of curiosities that reportedly included up to 35,000 botanical, animal, and mineral specimens.
Ferrante was also one of the first to represent a cabinet of curiosities, in the frontispiece of the 1599 catalog of his collection, From natural history. The wood engraving shows four men in breeches surrounded by all kinds of curiosities, carefully arranged in a complex of drawers, shelves, and display cases. The content spreads across the ceiling, where a menagerie of stuffed fish, salamanders, and seashells is strategically pinned around what looks like its precious possession: a stuffed alligator.


Collections like these functioned as an ordered microcosm of the wider world, as well as a platform for Renaissance people to satisfy their thirst for wondrous experiences.The cabinet of curiositieswas not "an end in itself but a source of endless beginnings", a write the historian Earle Havens A microcosm the size of a wardrobe in the endless macrocosm, created by God, whose wonders never cease.
Most cabinets, however, were not meant to be purely scientific - they were also places to explore personal tastes, indulge in mysticism, and demonstrate their power. Beyond objects directly extracted from nature, typical cabinets of curiosities contained sculptures, paintings, books, coins, medallions, gemstones, maps, and scientific instruments.
They also housed objects representing mysticism and occultism: so-called magical stones; Horns supposedly belonging to unicorns; Enchanted creatures supposed to be mandrakes and mermaids (made by sewing together the torso of a monkey and the tail of a fish). Each object offered the opportunity to tell a story about an epic adventure or, more often, to create one. write Art historian Giovanni Aloi.

The collection of precious objects was a long-standing tradition among the powerful, so the early cabinets of curiosities regularly functioned as symbols of social status.
The extent of a collection signified the intelligence, wealth, taste, and commercial prowess of its owner. Standing in the center of this mini-universe and pointing towards objects to reveal their deepest secrets, collectors have felt a sense of ease and mastery over a world that often seemed too big, too confusing, and too inhospitable,
Emperor Rudolf II was known for his eclectic collection tastes, to say the least. If you had received an invitation to his opulent Prague castle in the late 1500s, you might have been treated to a tour of his treasure trove, which contained everything from magical stones, celestial globes, and astrolabes to masterpieces by personalities such as

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