Besler – Hortus Eystettensis 1613
Near the end of the sixteenth century, the Prince Bishop of Eichstatt in Bavaria, created the first major botanical garden in Europe outside Italy. In it he grew many different species of plants from Europe and exotic species from other continents. He commissioned Basilius Besler to produce a book illustrating all the different flowers. After 16 years work by Besler as artist and at least 6 engravers, Hortus Eystettensis [Garden of Eichstatt], was published in 1613. It had 374 copper engraved plates, each printed on the largest size of paper available at the time, measuring 57 x 46 centimetres. Combining both botanical accuracy and artistry, Hortus Eystettensis is widely seen as the most magnificent florilegium, or collection of plant illustrations, ever made. A few luxury examples of the book were coloured at the time but these are nearly all in public collections. Most examples available today, including those offered here, have been hand coloured in the last 50 years or so. These plates are all in fine condition. In some cases, as is typical with this publication, some of the text from the other side of the page can be seen faintly behind the flowers.
Our prints are all mounted with conservation quality material.
Please click on the images below to see enlargements.