JF Ptak Science Books Post 1435
This small engraving, Slagh in Vlaenderen (Battle in Flanders or thereabouts), is about 3x4 inches, a tiny engraving (on copper, I believe) depicting a large action between what I would guess to be the Dutch, or the army at Flanders, and the Spanish, sometime in the late 15th century to the early/mid 17th century. There were a number of different years in which this action could have taken place, so I'm not sure what this image actually depicts. The print was made sometime in the mid 17th century, possibly earlier. (The original is available for purchase at our blog bookstore.)
What attracted me to this print was the minuteness of the figures in the background--the horse depicted here is not a millimeter long in the original, but we can see that the artist took enough care and had the imagination to make the horse run. (There is a long thread on this blog, "Prints--Looking Hard/Deeeply at" that takes a micro cruise along teh surface of large and complex prints into their perhaps seldom-scene embedded small worlds.)
Ditto for the soldier just to the left of the horse and out of formation--even when you hold the print close, you really can't see that there's a figure there unless you use a magnifying glass. This sample was scanned at 1000 dpi and represents a section of the print that is maybe 8 mm across.
The next sample shows an island that in the original is about an inch across, and as you can well see the sub-detail from the image above is just a fragment of this detail.
And the print in all of its glory, appearing on your monitor at about full scale.
I am constantly amazed at the precision and care and artistry of these early engravers, and how much they cared to include interesting details that were all but invisible to the majority of its viewers. But that's not the point.