During his tenure as governor of Dutch Brazil from 1637 to 1644, Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604–1679) was interested in much more than statesmanship and leading military campaigns. He was interested in science and art, and he brought a whole team of scientists and artists with him to Brazil. The different members of this team left an impressive inheritance of great importance for scientific development: Willem Piso was a pioneer in tropical medicine, while Georg Markgraf was dedicated to natural history, astronomy, and cartography. Johan Maurits established the first observatory as well as the first zoological and botanical gardens on the American continent, and he collected intensively during his stay.

Mariana de Campos Françozo researched for her PhD and this book under review how these collections came about, what happened to them when they were taken to Europe, and their political dividends...

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