Physica Sacra

While doing research for my forthcoming book Itinera Alpina (a collaboration with Ben Branagan – watch this space) I came across an image that stopped me in my tracks. It was an 18th-century engraving, showing a massive veiny liver apparently floating over a bucolic pastoral landscape, bordered by an elaborate Rococo frame. I found it reproduced in a book (in German) about 18th-century Zurich. Neither Ben nor I had any idea how or why such an image would come into being, or what it meant, but we were captivated by its weirdness, and it became an inspirational touchstone as we put together our book. Read the rest of this entry »