Ulisse Aldrovandi (Bologna, 1522-1605) was an Italian scholar of natural history, and considered a pioneer of the study of modern natural history. Aldrovandi is also credited with inspiring the naturalist movement in Northern Italy and Flanders through his connection to the Court of Medici.1 But at the same time as he was documenting animals an insects with as much scientific accuracy as possible, he conjured images of mythical creatures and devious monsters. These images detailed the widely held belief in the supernatural that existed at the time he lived, paralleling scientific fact with terrifying imagination. Most of his work was published after his death in 1605. Check out a collection of his monsters from his book Monstrorum Historia, published in 1642.
Images via Cargo Collective
1. The Origins of Geology in Italy, Issue 411, p. 61