Branches of knowledge represented by various people, 1535.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm

Branches of knowledge represented by various people, 1535.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Hand-coloured woodcut from the 'Margarita Philosophica' ('The Philosophical Pearl'), by Gregor Reisch (1467?-1525). Aristotle (384-322 BC), (top left) represents Natural Philosophy, with Seneca (c 4 BC-65 AD) representing Moral Philosophy on the right. Top centre is the Emperor Justinian. The woman in the centre has a sword and a flowering branch isuing from her mouth. First printed in 1503, this work was once considered the 'tree of all knowledge'. Divided into twelve 'books', it covers the topics of mathematics, cosmography, music, natural history, minerals, astronomy and medicine. Its illustrations, which are of great scientific and historical interest, are some of the earliest known depictions of the various subjects.

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