Emanuel Sweert (b. 1552). "Melanthium." Pl. 15 From Florilegium.
Amsterdam: Anthony Kempner, 1612. 13 1/4 x 8 1/2 (plate mark). Folio. Engravings. Full hand color. Excellent condition.
"One of the first and most famous . . . of the florilegiums was published in the Netherlands in 1612 by the Dutchman Emmanuel [sic] Sweert. It has no text other than a catalogue of the 'illustrated plants' in Latin, German, French and English." [Lys de Bray: The Art of Botanical Illustration, p. 47]. These beautiful and colorful botanical images are fine examples of the genre of the florilegium. Though much of the information contained in works of this type was not original, the composition of the illustrations is extremely pleasing, and Sweert's work was no exception. Aside from aesthetic merit, this work served also as a sale catalogue, published with notice that plants could be purchased at the author's shop in Frankfurt-am-Main. [Blunt and Stearn: The Art of Botanical Illustration, p. 104] Many of these illustrations were second-generation copies from a 1608 pattern-book for embroidery by Pierre Vallet. Overall, Sweert's florilegium an excellent illustration of seventeenth century intersections between natural history, printmaking, and decorative arts.
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