Inhabitants of the Indies, 1658.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraved title page showing a Native American and an Indian surrounded by animals including a rhinoceros, sloth, an ocelot and one of the earliest drawings of a dodo. From 'De Indiae utriusque re naturali et medica' (On the natural history and medicine of both Indies) by Willem Piso (1611-1678) published in Amsterdam in 1658. Piso, a Dutch doctor, was appointed physician to Nassau (1633-1644), was governor of Dutch Brazil, and headed a scientific mission for the West Indies Company. He became known as the 'father of tropical medicine'. This book, a product of the Dutch conquest of a portion of Brazil, was once the 'one great illustrated work on the natural history of Brazil', as well as 'the most noted work of science in seventeenth-century Holland'.