23 June ‘23 Sorry if yesterday’s blog was long. It was the surprise discovery of an artist and a stepping stone upon that other’s found inspiration that I found exciting. This is the last day in Rome as I leave early am for Termini Station to take the 5h train to Lecce. Today's blog is much simpler.
It will be another hot day so I rise early for an 45m easy walk to the ancient Roma. I did not purchase a tour. After that, I casually take the River Tiber walk to return which is filled with restaurants that are not yet awake.
There is one last place I must visit and that many would not find. It is the Library of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and Corsiniana in Rome, a combination of two very old libraries that constitutes a lyceum of original books of historic research of academics subjects of mathematics, architecture, geography, astronomy, history, philosophy, orientalists, astrological, alchemical and hermetic texts from the 15th – 17th Century. The library is hosting an exhibition “Rara Herbaria”. I can not resist looking at printed pieces from the 15th -17th centuries hoping for them to reveal a technique that I have not seen. I amble through about 10 linseeds oiled rooms of floor to a high ceiling of bookshelves of original printed and handwritten books.
I am traveling back with the sense of the smells of old parchment, cotton papers, ink, and past years of micro dust on the books of long ago. The Collection is far beyond just botany but brings together both original and mono (single) editions of printed, handwritten, and drawn texts books, and journals with detailed drawings from centuries ago. This collection exhibits precious important rare botany books of the world on plants. While their focus was not very much on process and technique (dang) it does give a great point of view of the evolution of explorations in cataloging of flora and other plant life. Below I have added a slide show of sample images. If you are further interested in the exhibition, there is the link in bold.
The library cataloging of early exploration into logging and recording reminds me of “The Signature of All Things” written by Elizabeth Gilbert. The novel’s heroin lives through her work and research of moss (yes, just moss) and finds an understanding of love, the deeper mysteries of evolution, and dives into the spiritual, divine, and magical workings of the world and of course… herself.