17th Century Prints, Botanical, Engraving, Prints

Besler Botanicals

Below are three hand-colored copper engravings from Basil Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis, the first great florilegium. Published in Eichstatt, 1613, two of these prints come from the first edition. Besler’s botanical work “is without doubt one of the greatest flower books ever produced in any country,” according to De Belder. It is “splendid in its array of large drawings, magnificent as a record of the plants in a German garden at the beginning of the seventeenth century” (Hunt). An apothecary and botanist, Besler was in charge of designing and maintaining the celebrated garden of Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, Prince Bishop of Eichstatt. Besler spent 16 years creating the drawings for this work.

Hortus Eystettensis consists of 374 plates, arranged according to season. More than 1,000 flowers are depicted, representing 667 species. Dramatic and often intensely colored, the Besler florals are the largest early botanical prints ever made. Not until the publication of Dr. Robert Thornton’s Temple of Flora 200 years later was there another botanical work fine enough to equal Besler’s.

Asparagus domesticus. Thyrsus Aasparagi. Basilius Besler. Engraving handcolored, 1613. Paper size about 22 x 17 7/8" (565 x 455mm). Good condition with later hand color.

Asparagus domesticus. Thyrsus Aasparagi. Basilius Besler. Engraving handcolored, 1613. Paper size about 22 x 17 7/8″ (565 x 455mm). Good condition with later hand color.

Cinara major Boloniensis, Cinara Genuensium, Cinara seu Artischochi vulgatior. (Artichoke). Basilius Besler. Engraving, hand colored. 1618-c.1640. Sheet size 20 3/8 x 17" (520 x 432  mm). Overall good condition.  Currently located at The Old Print Shop in NYC.

Cinara major Boloniensis, Cinara Genuensium, Cinara seu Artischochi vulgatior. (Artichoke). Basilius Besler. Engraving, hand colored. 1618-c.1640. Sheet size 20 3/8 x 17″ (520 x 432 mm). Overall good condition.
Currently located at The Old Print Shop in NYC.

Helleboraster maximus. Basilius Besler. Engraving, c.1640. Sheet size 21 7/8 x 17 1/4" (557 x 438 mm). Good condition and color. Currently located at The Old Print Shop in NYC.

Helleboraster maximus. Basilius Besler. Engraving, c.1640. Sheet size 21 7/8 x 17 1/4″ (557 x 438 mm). Good condition and color. Currently located at The Old Print Shop in NYC.

Standard
17th Century Prints, Copperplate, Early 20th Century, Engraving, Gallery Event, Past/Present, Prints, Woodcut

Past/Present: Asparagus

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.

 

Standard