All artists have pondered and been inspired by the natural world. This book, which includes fresh, lucid, and thought-provoking texts by one of the natural worlds best-loved commentators, examines the relationship between five masters of the art of natural history and the worlds they chose to portray, from Leonardos studies of plants and animals to Cassiano dal Pozzos immense Paper Museum; and from the microcosm of an English garden to the new worlds of the Americas. The great voyages of discovery of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought European artists face-toface with new and exotic plants and animals, and created an intense interest in the way nature was investigated and recorded. In Amazing Rare Things, Sir David Attenborough explores the history of natural history. With expert curators from the Royal Library, he examines the contributions of four great artists and one pre-eminent collector to this era of extraordinary scientific advances. Beautifully illustrated with a selection of exquisite drawings and watercolours by Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander Marshal, Maria Sibylla Merian and Mark Catesby; and with works collected by Cassiano dal Pozzo, this book examines the engagement between art and nature, from Renaissance Italy to the New World of the Americas. This unique and fascinating book shines a light on the role of artists in our exploration of the natural world.