Published : Germany, circa 1555
Author: Hieronymus Bock
Title: Kreutterbuch (“The Book of the Herbs”)
Size : circa 11 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches
Media: Original Woodcut on handmade paper - handcolored
Almost 500 years old and amazing in detail. This set of two bookpages features four of David Kandels famous Renaissance woodcuts. After printing them on handmade paper each woodcut was handcolored. Each page is double sided. One features botanical wood engravings on both sides, the other one features a woodcut on one side. They come from Hieronymus Bock famous Kreutterbuch (“The Book of the Herbs”). One woodcut is of Spelt and one of Corn. Each depicted plant is described in German language. These important woodcuts would look even more fantastic after being matted and framed in a simple frame.
About the Author:
Hieronymus Bock was born in Heidelsheim or Heidersbach, Germany in 1498. His parents intended for him to become a monk, however he became a schoolmaster instead. He later managed the gardens for Count Palatine Ludwig in Zweibrucken from 1523 to 1533. He lost his job when Ludwig died; Ludwig’s Catholic successor did not want a Lutheran working for him. Bock became a Lutheran pastor at Hornbach until his death in 1554. He also was a physician. He was asked by Brunfels to write a botany book in German.
Hieronymus Bock's greatest work, first published in Strassburg in 1539 as the New Kreuter Buch, is recognized for its dual importance for the study of botany and as a source of folklore and dialect of the German language as it was written and spoken in the 16th century. The first edition is without illustrations as Bock could not afford them. To compensate for the lack of visual representation of the plants, Bock described each specimen very clearly in the vernacular German spoken by the people. Instead of following Dioscorides as was traditional, he developed his own system to classify 700 plants. Bock apparently traveled widely through the German region observing the plants for himself, since he includes ecological and distributional observations. His later editions of the Kreutterbuch or "herbal" (startind 1546) were illustrated by the artist David Kandel. He was a Renaissance artist, actually one of the best known pioneers of botanical art and science. The Kreuterbuch (or “The Book of the Herbs”), by Hieronymus Bock, is a superb achievement full of beautiful woodcuts that were seen as the best of botanical art for the next two centuries. David Kandel contributed with 550 woodcuts to this masterpiece. These original woodcuts examined in great detail an enormous number of plants, herbs and trees by combining drawing, contemporary researches and medieval and ancient theories.
Condition: The prints are in good antique condition with nice color and light tanning giving it the destinct antique look.
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