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Titel: Naauwkeurige Beschryving der Aardgewassen, ...
Verlag: Leiden and Utrecht, Pieter vander Aa and François Halma, 1696
Folio (387 x 260 mm), pp [xxxvi] 929 , with engraved frontispiece, engraved head- and tailpieces, and 243 engraved plates; a fine copy, bound in two volumes, in contemporary Dutch blindstamped vellum with large arabesque in blind on front and back covers. £22,000 First edition of one of the most attractive Dutch florilegia of the seventeenth century. Abraham Munting (1626-1683) was professor of botany at the University of Groningen, and took over and enlarged the botanic garden founded by his father Henricus. It was known as the 'Paradise of Groningen' and became one of the most famous gardens of its time. Botanical colleagues sent him seeds of numerous exotic plants from the Dutch East and West Indies, South Africa, the Americas, etc. The present work depicts some of the exotic and remarkable plants growing in the garden. It is one of the earliest and most important documents concerning Japanese flora and its importation into the West, predating Thunberg's works by almost one hundred years. 'Munting wrote a number of works on medical-botanical topics, but his posthumously published opus magnum, the Naauwkeurige, enjoyed particular success, at least in part due to the novelty of the plates, which in a radical departure from the iconography of the traditional florilegium, presented its plant species against a charming series of landscape backgrounds . The illustrations are remarkable for their elegance and originality. The sophisticated title-page . was designed by an artist of considerable merit, Jan Goeree (1670-1731), who had been a student of Gérard de Laresse . 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 flower 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' (Tomasi, An Oak Spring Flora 45).Munting left a large corpus of drawings of plants upon his death in 1683. These were prepared for this publication by the addition of the ornamental ribbons for the plant names, the rustic and architectural backgrounds, etc., by artists working for the publishers vander Aa and Halma. Only plate 201 is signed, bearing the name of Joseph Mulder (1659-1710), engraver of many of the plants of Maria Sibylla Merian's famous work on the insects of Surinam. The artist of many of the backgrounds, particularly those featuring architecture, classical ruins, putti, etc. is undoubtedly Goeree, who also designed the headpieces.Hunt 396; Nissen BBI 1428; see Oak Spring flora 45. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 2800
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