De Historia Stirpium di Leonhart Fuchs
- Publisher / Year
- Aboca Museum – Sansepolcro, 2003
Biblioteca Antiqua di Aboca Museum (Sansepolcro, Italy)
On the History of Plants by Leonhart Fuchs
Kräuterbuch des Leonhart Fuchs
898 pages / 35.0 x 28.5 cm
517 xylographic illustrations (343 species= stirpi)
The famous herb book by the German physician and botanist Leonhart Fuchs was the standard botanical work in Europe for centuries. Printed in Basel in 1542, it is wonderfully illustrated with over 500 colored woodcuts, which visually present the plants depicted from their roots to their flowers. This fascinating document from the “Father of Botany” brings the exciting world of the beginnings of biology to life.
Leonhard Fuchs (1501-1566) is considered to be the “father of botany”. The 16th-century German physician and botanist attained fame as the author of the standard botanical reference De Historia Stiripium commantarii insignes. Fuchs additionally composed numerous other scientific works and was active in Munich, Ingolstadt, Ansbach, and above all at the Universität Tübingen, where he initiated one of the first botanical gardens.
Leonhart Fuch’s famous masterpiece was published in Basel’s Officina Insingriniana in 1542: the fascinating herb book with the title De Historia Stiripium commantarii insignes. This comprehensive botanical work contains botanical and medical descriptions of 343 plants both common and exotic, and is richly illustrated with 517 gorgeously colored woodcuts. These captivatingly naturalistic depictions – executed by gifted masters according to the author’s instructions – presents the plants in every detail, from the roots to the leaves and flowers.
After the publication of De Historia Stiripium commantarii insignes in Latin, Leonhart Fuchs made his botanical treasure chest accessible to the general public in a German edition: one year later the “New Kreüterbuch” was published, thereby laying the foundation for the dissemination of his work. Subsequently, De Historia Stiripium was widely disseminated across Europe – in numerous translations as well. Nonetheless, Leonhart Fuchs is most authentically tangible as a passionate botanist and plant expert in the work’s original Latin edition.