The beginning of global commerce in the early modern period had an enormous impact on European culture, changing the very way people perceived the world around them. Merchants and Marvels assembles essays by leading scholars of cultural history, art history, and the history of science and technology to show how ideas about the representation of nature, in both art and science, underwent a profound transformation between the age of the Renaissance and the early 1700s.
"This beautifully-illustrated book explores the relations between the accumulations of profitable commodities and the production of enlightening knowledge in Europeans' relations with their external worlds, opening a new way of expressing the historical relation between the arts of depicting the world and the techniques for knowing it." -- Simon Schaffer, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge
"Merchants and Marvels traces the paths by which many wonderful commodities were traded and collected in early-modern Europe. The editors and their contributors have produced a marvelous collection-a true Wunderkammer-to delight the mind." -- Jan Golinski, Department of History, University of New Hampshire
"A terrific collection, which gives the reader both wonderful new stories, and a vivid sense of how historians are beginning to study the material side of cultural history. These well-presented original essays deserve a wide public." -- Tony Grafton, Department of History, Princeton University
"Merchants and Marvels is wide-ranging and thought-provoking." -- Canadian Journal of History