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This highly decorative, folio botanical engraving is from Abraham Munting’s Naauwkeurige Beschryving der Aardgewassen…. The work was published by Pieter vander Aa and Francois Halma Utrecht and Leiden in 1696. The work found popularity due to the new design of the images which featured the plants against charming landscape backgrounds.
“Each plate shows a different plant in flower, including many exotic species from America and other distant lands. The plant dominates the foreground, filling the entire page, often with a detail of the fruit or the flowers presented on a smaller scale. In some cases the plants are presented à trompe l’oeil, while in others they have been arranged in decorated urns. Sometimes gardening tools are depicted as well. The name of each plant appears written on an elegantly fluttering ribbon or cartouche, or on a crumbling marble plaque. The originality of the work lies, however, in the small landscapes that have been inserted into the background of the plates. Here the artist gave full rein to his imagination, delineating scenes that in reality bore little relation to the actual habitat of the plants. Pastorals with animals and figures alternate capriously with vistas of walled cities and landscapes containing classical statues and ruins.” (Lucia Tongiorgi-Tomaso An Oak Spring Flora p.174)