Prints & Posters
- Books & Manuscripts
- Middle East & Holy Land
- Australia & Oceania
- Prints & Posters
I. Narcissus maximus . II. Narcissus medio luteus. III. Narcissus medio purpureus.
Very beautiful plate of narcissus, engraved on copper and enhanced in colors at the time, from the work Hortus Eystettensis by Basile Besler published in 1613 and "generally considered as one of the most important and beautiful books of botany ever published".
The plate represents three narcissus in bloom, each plant being identified by its Latin name. The text is printed on the back. In the late 1590s, Basilius Besler (1561-1629), a pharmacist from Nuremberg, was commissioned to create extensive gardens around the castle of Prince-Bishop Johan Conrad von Gemmingen near Eichstätt. Within a few years, the gardens in Eichstätt became the most famous in Europe, and the prince-bishop commissioned Besler to create a catalog of his extensive botanical collection with illustrations and text. This extensive work was published in 1613 as the Hortus Eystettensis, two years after Gemmingen's death. Tomasi, An Oak spring flora.
Basilius Besler (1561-1629) was a German apothecary, physician, botanist and publisher.
Basil Besler ran the pharmacy Zum Marienbild in Nuremberg from 1589 to 1629. In this city, he also created a botanical garden and a cabinet of curiosities. In 1597, the prince-bishop of Eichstätt, John Conrad of Gemmingen, asked Besler to create a botanical garden on a plot of land in Willibaldsburg. The garden designed by Besler soon became famous and received the collaboration of several botanists for its realization, among them Charles de l'Écluse (1525-1609), who had already realized a garden in Vienna, Joachim Camerarius the Younger (1534-1598) and Ludwig Jungermann (1572-1653).
Besler printed the catalog of the plants of his garden in Hortus Eystettensis (1613) in Eichstätt and Nuremberg, his work describes 1084 plant species, includes 367 copper engravings for a total of 850 pages. The botanical part of the book was written by Ludwig Jungermann, while the engravings were done by more than six different engravers, the most important of whom was Wolfgang Kilian.