|Method||Copper engraving with hand colouring|
|Artist||Giovanni Baptista Ferrari|
|Published||[Rome, Herman Scheus, 1646]|
|Dimensions||Image and Plate 298 x 196 mm, Sheet 352 x 233 mm|
A plate from Giovanni Ferrari's 'Hesperiedies sive de Malorum Aureorum Cultura et usu Libri Quatuor' ('Concerning the Cultivation and uses of the Golden Apple'), one of the earliest books on citrus fruit. The plates from this book show life size accurate representations of whole fruit and sections. They were prepared by some of the best artists at the time including Johann Friedrich Greuterm Cornelis Bloemaert, Nicholas Poussin, and Nicholas Foucault. The production of 'Hesperiedies sive de Malorum...' is reflective of the growing interest in the seventeenth century for orangeries and included detailed descriptions of training, planting, and housing citrus plants. In this book Ferrari endeavoured to create a precise taxonomic record of citrus fruit whilst simultaneously employing an overarching comparison of the mythical garden of Hesperidies with the development of the Italian garden. Numbered 249 to top right corner. 'I I' engraved to lower right.
Giovanni Baptista Ferrari (1584-September 1655) was a Jesuit, professor, and botanist. Ferrari devoted himself until 1632 to the study and cultivation of ornamental plants, and published 'De Florum Cultura', which was illustrated with copperplates by, among others, Anna Maria Variana, possibly the first female copper-engraver. He was the Horticultural Advisor to the Papal family and was appointed to manage the newly formed garden at the Barberini Palace in Rome. He used plants grown here for his botanical research. Ferrari was the first scientist to provide a complete description of the limes, lemons and pomegranates. He also described medical preparations, the details on citron and prescribed limes, lemons and pomegranates as medicinal plants against scurvy.
Condition: Time toning and minor foxing.