This lovely citrus engraving presented on chain-linked paper is from Giovanni Baptista Ferraris Hesperides sive de Malorum Aureorum Cultura et Usu Libri Quatuor. The work, created at the height of interest in citrus studies, was published in Rome in 1646. Hesperides featured several citrus plates including images of lemons and oranges. Ferrari also furnished several plates on the cultivation and mythology of the citrus fruit.
Each citrus engraving features life-size fruits, in whole and in section, floating on the page with a decorative ribbon weaving through the plate with the scientific name for the fruit. Johann Friedrich Greuter and Cornelis Bloemaert are credited with creating the engravings for Hesperides after several important Roman artists. Cassiano dal Pozzo, a Roman scholar and natural history enthusiast, contributed much of the information and financing of the publication. Pozzo was particularly interested in citrus and collected many specimens himself.
Giovanni Battista Ferrari was a noted Jesuit scholar and horticultural expert. Ferrari even earned a position as the horticultural advisor to the papal family. Ferrari was part of an important circle of Roman men of science and made his particular focus refining botanical nomenclature.