XVI - XVII sec.
Tempera on paper
The volume, probably set up at the beginning of the seventeenth century, contains seventy-five tables concerning almost exclusively marine, freshwater or Mediterranean coastal animals: Fish, Reptiles, Mammals, Crustaceans, Molluscs and Echinoderms. The organisms represented, sometimes more than one per panel, with rare repetitions, are very numerous and the large drawings are done in tempera on a cardboard cut out and glued to the album sheets. The drawings tend to reproduce the original dimensions of the species for which the sheets have in many cases been folded several times on themselves to reduce their excessive width (up to more than 3 meters). The artistic quality is generally good, although the designers, probably more than one, have often not reported important anatomical or chromatic details, useful for a certain identification of the species. The ittionimi used are mostly Nice, often accompanied by Portuguese names, partly still valid today. Except for two figures, representing a fantasy "fish" and a non-existent monk fish, all the illustrations refer to existing species. The reasons behind the creation of this volume are not clear, from which many of the banal species of fish, molluscs and crustaceans of the north-central Mediterranean Sea are missing, while the drawings of the Nile crocodile and the Uromastice refer beyond any reasonable doubt , to specimens present in the ducal collections of living animals. The work was most likely present in the library of the Grand Gallery of Duke Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, based on the inventory of 1659.