Hyacinthus Botryoides Maior
Basil Besler (1561-1629)
From Hortus Eystettensis
Hand-colored copperplate engravings
Sheet Dimension: 22 1/2” x 17 1/2”; Frame Dimension: 29 1/2” x 25”
Basil Besler’s great botanical work is a landmark of botanical documentation and pre-Linnaean classification, as well as one of the most splendidly stylized and aesthetically powerful botanical works ever produced. Besler was an apothecary and botanist who managed the gardens of Bishop Johann Conrad in Eichstatt, Germany. The Bishop’s remarkable garden was one of the most extensive in Europe, containing a huge variety of European shrubs and flowering plants, as well as exotic specimens from Asia and the Americas. Each plant is given a distinct and often descriptive Latin title, and related species are grouped together on the same plate, or over a series of plates. Almost all specimens are shown complete and accurately colored, including delineations of their root systems. These illustrations of various flowers are among the most dramatic and desirable of Besler’s illustrations.