Basil Besler (1561-1629)
Illustrations from the book 'Hortus Eystettensis'
Tassel Grape, Hyacinth or Hyacinthus Comosus Spurius, Bluebell or Hyacinthus Anglic Cinericeus, Heath Spotted Orchid or Palma Christi maculata, Bog Arum or Dracunculus Aquatilis, Muscari comosum, Endymion nonscriptus, Dactylorhiza maculata, Calla palustris, from Volume 1 of 'Hortus Eystettensis'
Engraving coloured by hand
Museum no. Circ.526-1967
The Hortus Eystettensis, the book for which this image was intended, illustrated all the plants growing in a single Nuremberg garden. As the first publication of its kind, it triggered a rush of similar books commissioned by the owners of notable gardens both for their personal delight and as a way of showing others that they had the means to cultivate such outstanding floral collections.
Because these books, or 'florilegia' as they came to be known, were produced for unscientific purposes, they rarely contained any useful text. Nor did the illustrations show much of the plant except the flower. Nevertheless they did provide botanists with a record of the new and exotic species arriving in Europe from abroad, and were also useful to designers as a pattern source.
This print can be found in Print Room Box DP2.