The rest of my favourite cephalopod illustrations get their own post, because I’m always looking for an excuse to talk about the Visboek of
Coenensz was a Dutch fisherman who decided to create his own book of fish facts in 1577, drawing on personal experience and the available literature at the time.
The result is incredibly cool, because it’s 410 entirely hand-drawn and lettered pages that contain copies of a ton of famous images, as well as original illustrations. There’s even evidence that it was shown at festivals and fairs in
Leiden with a 25 cent viewing charge, which is genuinely exciting from a historical perspective. But even if you aren’t as interested in that angle, it’s a work of art: