Jakob Trew Plantae Selectae Plate 30 Small Climbing Cactus

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    Published by Oppenheimer Editions, 2023
    Limited edition of 200
    20" x 13 1/2"

    Jakob Trew Plantae Selectae

    Oppenheimer Editions Print

    20" x 13 1/2"
    Limited edition of 200
    Published 2023
    Blind embossed with the Oppenheimer Editions logo

    Plantae Selectae—Published by Oppenheimer Editions

    A rare and exquisite folio, Plantae Selectae (1750-73) was the result of a fruitful collaboration between Nuremberg physician Dr. Christopher Jacob Trew, and preeminent botanical draughtsman Georg Dionysius Ehret. Comprising one hundred hand-colored engravings rendered exclusively by Ehret, the folio captures the rarest and most exotic plant species known to Europe at the time including bananas, pineapples, magnolias, and other foreign specimens. On each plate, gold leaf illuminates the plant titles and a scrolling cursive script composes the ledger at the bottom margin of the page. Likewise, Ehret's sophisticated linework renders the form of the botanical specimen while gouache and watercolor lend the plant chromaticity and dimension.

    Writing to Trew in 1754, distinguished botanist Bernard de Jussieu exclaimed of the publication: “The coloured drawings of plants which you have published surpass in beauty and exactitude everything that has appeared in this genre till now...” (Erlangen, Jussieu to Trew, No. 8). Combining fidelity to nature with great beauty, Ehret’s prints inaugurated “The Golden Age of Botanical Art.” Moreover, in his delineations of the plants, Ehret paid special attention to rendering the stamen and pistils which were soon thereafter recognized to be of paramount importance in plant classification according to the Linnaean system of taxonomy. In fact, Carl Linneaus, the renowned Swedish botanist whose system of binomial nomenclature would dominate botany for centuries, shared a lifelong friendship with Ehret. “The walls of Linnaeus’s bedroom were (and still are) papered with illustrations from Ehret’s…Plantae Selectae” (Calmann 1977, 51).

    Established in 1999, Oppenheimer Editions has partnered with prestigious museums to make prints from their holdings. Works from the New-York Historical Society’s unrivaled collections of John James Audubon’s watercolors and the Hudson River School paintings are examples of art that otherwise would be unobtainable. Among the institutional collections we have partnered with are the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. These are not mere reproductions. They are limited-edition fine art prints made with the finest quality archival pigments on rag watercolor paper and executed to exacting standards.