Nuremberg: hothouse of botanical illustration

Staff: Heather Pardoe & Maureen Lazarus
<em>Tulipa Lutea Lituris Aureis</em> from <em>Hortus Eystettensis</em>
Tulipa Lutea Lituris Aureis from Hortus Eystettensis (1613)
created by Basilius Besler (1561-1629).
Hand-coloured engraving: 48.5cm x 40cm.

Research on our collection of botanical illustrations has revealed many connections with the city of Nuremberg. For example, in 2001 we acquired an original hand-coloured engraving from the Hortus Eystettensis (1613), a magnificent florilegium created by the Nuremberg apothecary, Basilius Besler (1561-1629) which recorded all the plants in the garden of the Bishop of Eichstatt, Conrad von Gemmingen.

Nuremberg was also the home of Christoph Jacob Trew (1695-1769), an influential physician, anatomist and botanist. Trew was an important patron who commissioned the master artist Georg Dionysius Ehret to produce illustrations for Plantae Selectae (1750–73), one of the great botanical iconographies. The Museum holds 27 loose prints from this work. This research project will explore the development of Nuremberg as a centre for excellence in botanical illustration and publication. The links with our collections will be described and a research visit to the city is planned.