With summer in full swing, and gardens producing some fantastic fruits and vegetables, I thought it would be nice to show two complimentary prints of the asparagus plant, printed 338 years apart. Asparagus domesticus, Thyrsus Asparagi is a scarce hand-colored, copper engraving from Basilius Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis, one of the first illustrated herbal books. This print is from the first edition, published in Nuremburg in 1613. Dramatic and intensely colored, the Besler florals are the largest early botanical prints ever made. Not until the publication of Dr. Thornton’s Temple of Flora ( featured in a previous post here) 200 years later was there another botanical work fine enough to rival Besler’s. Asparagus, by 20th century artist Antonio Frasconi, is a woodcut print, featured in our current gallery show, Director’s Cut. Enjoy!
Image on Left: Asparagus domesticus, Thyrsus Asparagi by Basilius Besler. Copper engraving, 1613.
Image on Right: Asparagus by Antonio Frasconi. Woodcut, 1951.