Hendrick Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein (1636-1691)
Plate 14: Bem-Schetti
From: Hortus Malabaricus
Hand-colored copperplate engravings
Sheet Dimensions: 15 x 18.75 in.
Framed Dimensions: 18.25 x 22 in.
Hortus Malabaricus is the oldest comprehensive printed book on the natural plant wealth of Asia and of the tropics. It was compiled and printed by Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Draakestein, the then Dutch Governor of Cochin, a princely state of India, and published in 12 volumes, double folio size, in Amsterdam from 1678 through 1693.
Van Rheede’s Hortus Malabaricus is the result of 30 years of compiling and editing information from a team of the best of 17th century European physicians, scientest, technicians, illustrators and engravers, which collaboration of scholars from all over India. It is of great importance today as a rare record of the plant wealth of Kerala (India) and medicinal uses of those plants, and is the only source of information about ancient Indian medicinal plants.