By Emily Mattern
Emily Mattern completed an MPhil in the History of Art at Trinity College Dublin in 2022. The following text is based on the research for her dissertation entitled Materiality, Meaning, and Metamorphosis: The Work of Maria Sibylla Merian in the Fagel Collection at Trinity College Dublin (2022).
First Encounter with the Fagel Metamorphosis
Although the works of natural history found within the Fagel Collection are limited in number, they are some of the collection’s most visually striking objects. As a multi-generational library amassed by high-ranking Dutch citizens, the Fagel Collection demonstrates an interest in various subjects. Even so, the men who amassed and maintained it routinely favored items which would prove beneficial in upholding their official duties as greffier of the States General. Because the Fagels prioritized practical texts, it is no surprise that natural history volumes comprise only about 2.6% of the collection (Fox 89). More remarkable is the exquisite ornamentation of these books, as exemplified by one second-edition copy of Maria Sibylla Merian’s Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (Fag.GG.2.10 no.1).
Continue reading “On Display. The Fagel Family’s Copy of Maria Sibylla Merian’s ‘Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium’ (1719)”
Series of videos about the Fagel Collection at the Library of Trinity College Dublin
A series of nine videos is being launched today which will showcase some of the finest items from the Fagel collection. Trinity College Dublin academics and Library staff share their expertise and provide behind-the-scenes insight into the conservation, cataloguing and digitization of one of the jewels of the Library’s collections.
Continue reading “Announcing a Second Series of Fagel Videos”
A copy of Athansasius Kircher’s Mundus subterraneus is without doubt one of the most beautiful books in the Fagel Collection. The colouring is of an exceptional quality, initials and captions are heightened with gold throughout the book. Samuel Paterson, who compiled the Fagel auction catalogue for Christie’s in 1802, described it ‘a matchless copy, illuminated in the style of the ancient missals’. Time to take a closer look at this copy. Why did the otherwise so modest Fagels own such a lavishly decorated book?
Continue reading “Gems of the Fagel Collection: Athanasius Kircher’s Mundus subterraneus 1678”
The Fagel Collection contains a copy of Alain Manesson-Mallet’s 1702 four volume work La géométrie pratique printed in Paris (shelf mark Fag.N.7.33-36). He was a French cartographer and fortifications engineer who served the armies of both France and Portugal and later taught mathematics in the court of Louis XIV.
Continue reading “Gems of the Fagel Collection: La Géométrie Pratique 1702”