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This splendid folio botanical engraving is from Basilius Besler’s rare and highly sought after work Hortus Eystettensis, sive Diligens et accurata omnium Plantarum, Florum, Stirpium, ex variis orbis terrae partibus, singulari studio collectarum, quae in celeberrimis viridariis arcem episcopalem ibidem cingentibus, olim conspiciebantur delineatio et ad vivum. The print available is from the third edition published in 1713 in Nuremberg and Eichstatt. The engraving was printed on superior chain-linked paper.
Bishop-prince Johann Konrad von Gemmingen created a magnificent garden to praise God and celebrate the diversity of creation. In the early 1600s, the bishop-prince commissioned Basilius Besler to create a catalogue of his garden and thus Hortus Eystettensis was produced.
Beslers work, which depicted over 1100 specimens, is still widely considered one of the best botanical works ever created. Most of the plants depicted were drawn at their actual size. The first edition of the work was printed in 1613 and consisted of only about 300 copies. Hortus Eystettensis is truly a masterpiece and one of the most comprehensive and alluring botanical works ever produced. In the preface to an 1806 edition, Franz Seraph Widmann said …by reason of…the magnificence of its engravings, [this work] deserves to rank high among the rarest works of its kind.”