|Image 189 x 139 mm, Plate 250 x 143 mm, Sheet 397 x 267 mm
A rare half-portrait of Emanuel Sweerts, turned slightly to the left, wearing a fine doublet and cloak, resting one hand on a skull and holding up a flower in his other, with a pine cone and a shelled horse chestnut on the table before him. The portrait is framed in an oval border with decorative side margins. From a Latin edition of Theodor de Bry's "Florilegium novum", a very popular publication after Sweerts' "Florilegium". De Bry reused many of Sweerts' plates, his "Florilegium novum" was first published in 1612, had several editions in Latin, Dutch, French and German and was republished from 1641 until 1176.
Emanuel Sweert or Sweerts (1552-1612) was prefect of the gardens of the Emperor Rudolf II in Prague. His Florilegium was first printed in Frankfurt by Kempner in 1612 -1614. It was originally intended as a sales catalogue for plants and bulbs from Sweert's gardens, to be sold at fairs in Frankfurt and Amsterdam, but unfortunately he died the same year. Now these very attractive engravings are regarded as fine examples of 17th century botanical illustration and are much collected.
Inscription to bottom margin: "Ad EMANVELEM SWEERTSIUM Batavum Septimontium principem Rhizotomum Epigramma Si florum vivas orbi exhibuisse figuras Viuere perpetuo est Quin decet ut. uiuas post busta his floribus orbi Perpetuo effigie. A. CLVTIVS"
Theodor de Bry (1528 - 1598) was a Flemish-born engraver and editor, who travelled through Europe. De Bry first fled from Liège in fear of the Spanish persecution of Protestants, lived in Strasbourg, then moved to Antwerp, London and finally settled in Frankfurt am Main, where he started a publishing business and printing workshop.
Condition: Excellent impression with full margins. Minor ink offset to plate. Slight overall time toning, small stain to centre right. Latin letterpress on verso.