Date of Printing: 1543 • Medium: Woodcut Print (hand colored) • Subject Category: Natural History - Plants & Flowers • Signed: Unsigned • Period Created: Renaissance (1351 - 1599) • Plate Size HxWxD cm: N/A • Leaf Paper Size HxW cm: 35.5 x 22.5 • Style: FOLIO Original Vintage • Print on Verso: Printed Text on verso • Condition: Good, with slight foxing, some spotting • Edition Type: Limited Edition • Paper Type: Laid Paper • Framed: Print only
SCARCE hand-coloured LARGE FOLIO EDITION by Leonhart Fuchs. From "Das Kräuterbuch," Basel, 1543.
In excellent hand colour, double-sided print (image on both sides). The side with three ferns features cryptic, hand-drawn symbols in what appear to be lead or silverpoint. ORIGINAL LEAF FROM THE SCARCE GERMAN FOLIO EDITION of 1543!!!
Fuch’s work and its beautiful illustrations effected a revolution in the natural sciences, comparable to that of Copernicus in astronomy and Vesalius in anatomy, both of which were published the following year, 1543.
To effect this reform accurate illustration and identification was the first requirement and it was to this task that Fuchs addressed himself. Fuchs employed the best artists then available in Basle: Albrecht Meyer did the drawings, Heinrich Füllmaurer transferred them to the woodblocks, and they were cut by Veit Rudolph Speckle. All three are depicted in the book, the first time that book illustrators are themselves portrayed and named. These illustrations set a new standard for botanical depiction and were some of the most influential in botanical history, being copied for innumerable works well into the 18th century. Some 40 species are illustrated for the first time, including several American plants, such as maize and the pumpkin.
German text. Condition: Please view images carefully. Light age toning and minor foxing. Fringing on lower margin. Some spotting.
Leonhart Fuchs, sometimes spelled Leonhard Fuchs, was a German physician and botanist. His chief notability is as the author of a large book about plants and their uses as medicines, i.e. a Herbal Book. It was first published in 1542 in Latin. It has about 500 accurate and detailed drawings of plants, which were printed from woodcuts. The drawings are the book's most notable advance on its predecessors. Although drawings were in use beforehand in other Herbal books, Fuchs' Herbal book proved and emphasized high-quality drawings as the most telling way to specify what a plant name stands for. The botanical genus Fuchsia is named in his honour, and consequently the colour fuchsia.