Is there something that you or your family collects? Take a look at the drawing shown here. It was made more than 300 years ago. At that time, it was very popular to collect drawings. In fact, people were so excited about their collections that they threw parties just to show them off.
Enthusiastic collectors bought drawings in bookstores or at auctions. Some eventually owned hundreds or even thousands of them. One very rich collector, Cornelis Ploos van Amstel, had 7,000.
Collectors often kept their drawings in books, but they also sometimes framed or hung them on walls. The drawings were mostly of flowers, trees, landscapes, animals, and scenes of everyday life.
This is one of the many drawings that was admired and collected. It shows a playful fantasy in which mischievous animals take over the human world. The scene takes place in a messy cellar. There are owls, rats, monkeys, chickens, and bats, all behaving like humans. In one corner of the room, there are rats warming their hands by a fire. Across the room, a few owls are reading music and singing, while another owl looks like he's reading a book. It's hard to find any sign of human life, but if you look carefully at the back of the room, you'll see a man peeking through a curtain in the doorway.