ORIGINAL hand colored large folio botanical engraving by Basilius BESLER . It is printed on chain laid paper . Title is AMARANTUS CHRISATUS AMARANTUS SPICATUS . Very good condition (500 years old !!) save a 2 diagonal breaks in paper by right edge. GORGEOUS ! Priced at half or LESS of print gallery prices. Check out other Beslers on RL and prices.
Size at mat opening is approx. 20" x 15 1/2" and framed is 27" x 21"
Basilius Besler's magnificent engravings are the first large-folio natural history botanicals. His work, Hortus Eystettensis (Garden of Eichstätt), is man's 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. Exceedingly rare, the Deluxe First Edition was published concurrently with the regular first edition in 1613. It differs in two ways; the paper is a very fine laid paper and is watermarked. Also, there is no text printed on the verso of the sheets. Four plates from the folio which were to be the heading for each of the sections for each season do have titles on the verso. It is generally believed that because of the superior paper quality and the absence of text that the Deluxe Edition was the one that was intended to be colored. 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. collection