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WD6015131

Collection of Three Basilius Besler Engravings

  • H: 55 cm (21 5/8")
  • W: 44 cm (17 5/16")
  • D: 5 cm (2")

Stunning set of three 17th Century botanical engravings, by Basilius Besler. 

Basilius Besler (1561-1629) was a prominent botanist and apothecarist in Nuremberg. He was tasked with curating the garden of Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, the Prince Bishop of Eichstaedt in Bavaria. The Prince also requested a codex of all the plants growing in his garden. This commission would take Besler 16 years to complete and his patron passed away shortly before its publication. 

The work was the Hortus Eystettensis, first published in 1613. This seminal volume revolutionised the world of botanical art overnight, comprising 367 life-sized copper engravings which represented 1084 different plants across 667 species. It was first published in 1613.

Before the Hortus Eystettensis, botanical art had been confined to relatively naive depictions of medicinal and culinary herbs, for utilitarian purposes. 

Besler published two versions. The more expensive and luxurious was hand-coloured, whilst a more accessible edition was produced in black-and-white. 

These prints are hard to come by and an invaluable piece of botanical history. Not only are they significant, but they are also enormously decorative. 

These three will make a beautiful feature on any wall. 

£6,000.00
Lorfords approved

Stunning set of three 17th Century botanical engravings, by Basilius Besler. 

Basilius Besler (1561-1629) was a prominent botanist and apothecarist in Nuremberg. He was tasked with curating the garden of Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, the Prince Bishop of Eichstaedt in Bavaria. The Prince also requested a codex of all the plants growing in his garden. This commission would take Besler 16 years to complete and his patron passed away shortly before its publication. 

The work was the Hortus Eystettensis, first published in 1613. This seminal volume revolutionised the world of botanical art overnight, comprising 367 life-sized copper engravings which represented 1084 different plants across 667 species. It was first published in 1613.

Before the Hortus Eystettensis, botanical art had been confined to relatively naive depictions of medicinal and culinary herbs, for utilitarian purposes. 

Besler published two versions. The more expensive and luxurious was hand-coloured, whilst a more accessible edition was produced in black-and-white. 

These prints are hard to come by and an invaluable piece of botanical history. Not only are they significant, but they are also enormously decorative. 

These three will make a beautiful feature on any wall. 


  • Condition: Good
  • Country: Germany
  • Materials & Techniques: Paper
  • Period: 18th Cent and Earlier

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