image hooke_r_micrographia_238
Image number: RS.9440
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Purslane seeds

Date

1665

Creator

Unknown, Engraver

After

Robert Hooke (1635-1703, British), Natural Philosopher

Object type

Library reference

RCN 45230

Material

Technique

Dimensions

height (print): 306mm
width (print): 182mm

Subject

Physics
   > Optics
      > Microscopy
Biology
   > Botany

Content object

nature
   > plant

Description

Microscopic study of five purslane seeds portulaca oleracea.

Inscribed above: ‘Schem XX’

Written in the associated text: ‘The Seeds of Purslane seem of very notable shapes, appearing through the Microscope shap’d somewhat like a nautilus or Porcelane shell as may be seen in the XX. Scheme, it being a small body, coyl’d round in the manner of a Spiral’

Plate 20 from Robert Hooke’s Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses with observations and inquiries thereupon (1665), the first fully-illustrated book on the topic of microscopy. In the preface Hooke asserts that he had discovered ‘a new visible World’.

Robert Hooke (1635-1703) British natural philosopher was a founding member of the Royal Society, elected in 1663. Before his career with the Royal Society, Hooke had been apprenticed to painter Peter Lely (1618-1680), where he learned to draw and paint. Though he did not engrave the images in Micrographia himself they were engraved after his illustrations.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom