Basilius Besler

Flos Solis Maior. [Sunflower.]

Engraving, handcolored, 1718
Paper size 20 3/16 x 16 3/8" (512 x 415 mm).
Very good condition. Twentieth-century handcoloring.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 81916
Price: $15,500.00
Publisher :
One of the grandest images from one of the greatest botanical picture books ever created, "Hortus Eystettensis." Published in Eichstatt, Germany. Besler’s botanical work “is without doubt one of the greatest flower books ever produced in any country," according to De Belder. It is “splendid in its array of large drawings, magnificent as a record of the plants in a German garden at the beginning of the seven-teenth century” (Hunt). That celebrated garden belonged to Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, Prince Bishop of Eichstatt. An apothecary and botanist, Besler was in charge of designing and maintaining the garden. He spent 16 years creating the drawings for this work. Hortus Eystettensis consists of 374 plates, arranged according to season. More than 1,000 flowers are depicted, representing 667 species. Dramatic and often intensely colored, the Besler florals are the largest early botanical prints ever made. Not until the publication of Dr. Robert Thornton’s "Temple of Flora" 200 years later was there another botanical work fine enough to equal Besler’s. [De Belder 23, 25. Hunt 430. Nissen 158. Blunt, 95-97] 18th-19th Century Subjects , Natural History - Botanicals , Basilius Besler