A postcard of an invented Carpaccio painting leans against a bookshelf lined with inviting leather-bound tomes, while an elaborate polygon of paper hangs from a thread, swinging its angular shadow before the shelf. A man with bound drafting paper under his arm gestures to the center of a circular labyrinth, edged by a wooden sphere and a stone polygon, both lifted from Albrecht Dürer’s seminal puzzle-print Melancolia I. A collection of multi-sized busts lines an artist’s studio, in the Vermeer vein, with a large bottle-glass window on the left, in which flows southern sunlight. The skull of Sir Thomas Browne, seventeenth century collector and author, rests in profile against several books; a tinted photo-negative image of it lies below, flipped as if glimpsed in a mirror.
This is the opening to a review by The Secret History of Art of a new book, called A Cabinet of Rarities, that appears in the book review magazine Bookslut. The read the whole review, click here.