How do you feel about little crawly creatures like spiders, toads and ants. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the arts and sciences brought about big changes to the way people thought about these little beasts! From scary, filthy symbols of death and decay they became the focus of spellbound artists.

Associated with the devil, sin and death

Renaissance artists paint crawly creatures

Table ornament Table ornament

Crawly creatures in the Kunstkammer (‘art chamber’)

Crawly creatures and God’s creation

Maria Sibylla Merian studies Surinamese insects

Crawly creatures get their own genre