Nature on display
in Conquering nature in Spain and its empire, 1750–1850
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This chapter looks at the media that existed for the diffusion of the natural sciences and at the places where ordinary Spaniards could learn about the natural world. For those Spaniards unable to view nature in the flesh, or keen to supplement their knowledge, a proliferation of natural history books and periodicals made reading about nature more practicable. Introducing a collection of plates designed to supplement Paseo, the naturalist suggested that children might amuse themselves by colouring in these images, which had been 'printed on a separate sheet' for this purpose. The chapter highlights the practical advantages associated with natural history and examines some of the techniques used to facilitate its study, particularly, among the younger generation. The natural history museum was the ideal venue in which to appreciate God's wisdom and ingenuity, since it enabled the pious viewer to survey at a glance His most wondrous creations.


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