The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo

Cassiano commissioned artists to make drawings, many in watercolour, on paper directly from observation of specimens, as objective, scientific studies.  The collection became a visual encyclopedia, before the age of photography, of  architecture, zoology and botany, ornithology, geology, as well as antiquities, an attempt to depict a wide breadth of human knowledge in visual form.  The ‘database’ helps the viewer to understand the culture and concerns of the seventeenth century.


Drawing from the Cassiano Paper Museum

The Paper Museum is mostly kept in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle.  In addition to the drawings there is also a print collection, material purchased by Cassiano and organised around specific subjects including social customs, costumes, ceremonies, military maps etc.

Browsing through my reference sources (below) helped generate a few ideas for my own ‘paper museum’ depicting my home surroundings, village and Aegean environment;

  • panorama view of my valley / village
  • wild boar, hare at night
  • street dogs
  • village house (s)
  • bee eater
  • ottoman tile patterns
  • oleander
  • citrus fruit
  • vegetables grown in the gardens
  • rubbing of carved stone
  • olive tree root
  • Turkish coffee cup



The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo: a Catalogue Raisonné, Henrietta McBurney, 2001 at


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