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Basilius Besler

Hortus Eystettensis

Deluxe Edition 1613

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First Edition 1613

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Second Edition 1640

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Third Edition 1713

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Basilius Besler¹s magnificent engravings are the first large-folio natural history botanicals. His work, Hortus Eystettensis (Garden of Eichstätt), is man¹s earliest documentation of a specific garden and is the oldest of all of the great botanicals. Over 1,000 varieties of flowers are depicted in 367 exquisitely engraved and colored plates. In the early 1600s, the Prince Bishop of Eichstätt, Germany created what was probably the first comprehensive botanical garden devoted to flowering plants. Many of the exotic flowers were imported from the Americas and the Ottoman Empire.

 Besler documented this vast garden, depicting each plant as it bloomed throughout the four seasons. The work is sometimes referred to as the Four Seasons. The Hortus Eystettensis is exceptional for many reasons. It was the first botanical in history to portray flowering plants as objects of beauty. It deviated from the non-esthetic and awkward representations of preceding publications which focused on herbal subjects and set the standard for all great flower books of the following centuries.

The Besler florilegium is as grand in scale as it is in scope. The large folio paper gloriously displays every flower in its actual size. As many as ten engravers were employed to create the copper plates which were melted down in 1817 by the Royal Mint in Munich. These exquisite engravings are an essential component for any natural history art collection. Hortus Eystettensis is considered to be the greatest early botanical picture book. The prints in our collection are of superb quality and are in excellent condition. Price range: $1,100 - $9,000

 

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