The Besler 1st Ed. Pl. 277, Yellow Centaurea; Dyer’s Sawwort; Plumed Thistle elegantly captures the blossoming botanicals in charming detail.
Delicately engraved on laid paper, this 17th-century print has a tactile quality that is emphasized by the paper texture, raised linework, and platemark. Likewise, the addition of a calligraphic text on the verso lends dimension and expository intrigue to the piece. As part of the oldest and most costly florilegium Hortus Eystettensis, this print is a valuable piece of history and an enchanting addition to antique and contemporary spaces alike.
About Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis
First published in 1613 by Nuremberg apothecary Basilius Besler, the monumental florilegium Hortus Eystettensis artistically records the flowering contents of the Garden of Eichstätt. Cultivated by Prince-Bishop Johann Konrad von Gemmingen at his Bavarian residence, this garden boasted local and exotic flora from all over the known world. Besler’s folio constitutes 367 exquisitely engraved and lavishly colored plates that capture over 1,000 plant varietals cultivated in the garden. Rendered on large sheets of 22 ½ x 18 inch paper, Besler’s engravings emphasize the ornate qualities of the plants as he traces their progression throughout the seasonal calendar. The first edition of Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis can be distinguished from the Deluxe through the calligraphic text on the verso and no watermark in the paper.
About Basilius Besler
Basilius Besler was a Nuremberg apothecary who created one of the first great botanical folios, Hortus Eystettensis (Garden of Eichstätt), in 1613. Working at a time when botanical illustrations were used primarily to identify plants for medicinal purposes, Besler created a monumental florilegium that prioritized the beauty of the plants over their pharmacological usefulness. As a result, Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis acts as a transitional fulcrum in the history of botanical art between the association of plants as medicine to plants as objects of beauty.
For more information about Besler 1st Ed. Pl. 277, Yellow Centaurea; Dyer’s Sawwort; Plumed Thistle, email us at [email protected] or check out our articles Basilius Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis or Garden of Eichstätt and How to Distinguish Between the Various Editions of Besler’s ‘Garden of Eichstätt’.