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January 30, 2018

De Historia Stirpium

Herbal Collection

De Historia Stirpium Comentarii Insignes
Basil: in officina Isingriniana, 1542

The CMLA has two copies of this work: the first, bound in vellum with 6 ribs and an orange leather tag on the spine, is a folio, 37.5 x 25.4cm; the second copy, also a folio, 37.3 x 25.5cm, is bound in red leather with gold tooling on the spine and gilt edges. Both bear inscriptions and ex libris.

CROP_1733.jpg Palma.jpg

Both works have hand-colored plates throughout. According to Johnston, in the Cleveland Herbal, the works were published with the intention that they could be hand colored, much like a coloring book, and each has 511 woodcuts of plants, many of which are full page prints.

DIGIT_1732.jpg CROP_1729.jpg DIGIT2.jpg

According to Johnston, Leonard Fuchs "is regarded as the third of the German 'fathers of botany.'" And in these works Fuchs "sought to provide his readers with the classical descriptions of medical plants from Dioscorides, Pliny, Galen, etc." These books include the "earliest portrayal of maize, which Fuchs thought came from Turkey." Fuchs was renown for his treatment of the English sweating sickness.

As with other works of this period, the book was produced by an author, an illustrator, a transposer, and a block cutter, each of whom is pictured in both works: Leonard Fuchs, Albrecht Meyer, Heinrich Fullmaurer, and Veit Rudolf, respectively.

Fuchs_Uncolored.jpg Fuchs_Colored.jpg Artists.jpg

According to Wikipedia, the botanical genus Fuchsia is named in honor of Fuchs, as is the colour fuchsia.

Posted by twh7 at January 30, 2018 11:49 AM

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