Codex Seraphinianus (originally published in 1981) is an encyclopaedia compiled of many beautiful imaginary illustrations and notes written in an illegible language, made by Luigi Serafini, an Italian designer, architect and artist. The book was created from 1976 to 1978.
The beings drawn in the book are surreal imaginings of objects which exist in reality, such as plants, people, science, animals and tools. Everyday things such as a croissant or a hippopotamus are transformed with their own physics and mysteries.
Having no explanations to go with each illustration allows the reader to form their own thoughts and translations of what each image means, which is quite nice in itself as you cannot just take the artist’s opinion on what it is: you are forced to think of your own interpretation.
I love the idea that this encyclopaedia could be someone’s life’s work, their magnum opus, of how they see the world. I make begin to make my own from my thoughts on every day objects, as a personal project. Anything is possible in your own encyclopaedia of everything.