“Marseus in the Land of Snakes”: New York Review of Books about book and exhibit in Rijksmuseum Twente

For much of his life, the painter Otto Marseus van Schrieck (circa 1620-1678) lived beyond Amsterdam’s city walls in a marshy area known as “the land of snakes,” where he had a small country house. There, Marseus kept a menagerie of reptiles, insects, and vermin for the purposes of the peculiar genre of painting he had invented—his wife later claimed that he spent so much time handling the snakes that they eventually began posing for him—which was so much in demand that when Cosimo de Medici visited Amsterdam in 1667, Marseus, not Rembrandt, was the first person he received.

Read more in the New York Review of Books