|Matthäus Merian II
|[Amstelodami, Apud Ioannem Iacobi Fil. Schipper. MDCLVII. [Amsterdam, 1657]]
|Image and Plate 294 x 175 mm, Sheet 365 x 230 mm
Plate 78, featuring illustrations of various lizards and skinks, as well as a pair of chameleons, from the 1657 first edition of John Jonston's Historiae Naturalis de Serpentibus et Draconibus Libri II, cum aeneis figuris, Johannes Jonstonus Medicinae Doctor, concinnavit, the second book of a six volume work of the animal kingdom, which became a standard 17th century encyclopaedia of natural history. Remarkable more for its breadth and arrangement than any particular advancement of the study and classification of animals, it was an extremely popular work, in great part because of numerous engravings by Matthäus Merian the Younger and his younger brother Caspar Merian. It was translated and reprinted in many editions into the later half of the 18th century.
John Jonston (1603-1675) was a Polish scholar, naturalist, and physician of Scottish parentage. He studied at St. Andrews, Cambridge, and Leiden, practising medicine for some years and earning a great reputation. He was offered several university chairs but turned them down, preferring to return to Poland and study independently. Jonston wrote extensively on a number of subjects and his work is seen by many as compilations of learning.
Matthäus Merian II (1621-1687) was a portrait painter, engraver and publisher. Born in Basel he was the son of Matthäus Merian the Elder and half brother of Maria Sibylla Merian. In 1650, after his father's death, he took over the family printing business.
Jan Jacobz. Schipper (1616-1669), born Jan Dommekracht, was an Amsterdam-based printer, bookseller, and poet. Many of his publications feature a frontis illustration of a ship, in reference to his adoption of the pseudonym 'Schipper' in reference to his father's maritime career.
Condition: Minor time toning and chips to edges of sheet. Oil stains to top of plate and to left margin.