image hooke_r_micrographia_252
Image number: RS.9442
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Feathers

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): 208mm

Subject

Physics
   > Optics
      > Microscopy
Biology

Content object

nature
   > animal
      > bird

Description

Microscopic study showing the structure of feathers [unspecified].

Inscribed above: ‘Schem XXII’

Written in the associated text: ‘the outward surface of the Quill and Stem was of a very hard, stiff and thorny substance, which is obvious enough, and that the part above the Quill was fill’d with a very white and light pith, and, with the Microscope, I found this pith to be nothing else, but a kind of natural congeries of small ubbles,the films of which seem to be of the same substance with that of the Quill, that is, of a stiff transparent horny substance.’

Plate 22 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