G. B. Ferrari (1584 - 1655) Quarto - Microscopic Plate of Chinese Hibiscus 1638 - Botany
The first published plant illustration that takes advantage of Microscopy
In the same year of Galileo’s famous Inquisitional trial and conviction, Giovanni Battista Ferrari (of Sienna) published De Florum Cultura, an early book dedicated to ornamental flowers and horticulture. Among the illustrations by Dutch artist Cornelis Bloemaert were examples of the double-flowered Chinese Hibiscus. Of significance, Ferrari and the artist decided to include illustrations of the seed, as examined through a microscope and labelled: “Idem semen triplici ad microscopium aspectu repraesentatum.” This appears to constitute the first published plant illustration that takes advantage of microscopy (32 years prior to Hooke’s Micrographia.)
Giovanni Baptista Ferrari (1584 - 1655) - Fine Quarto engraving with land colour -1638
Issued in the 1638 edition of Ferrari's spectacular Flora ouero cultura di fiori.
16 x 23.3 cm
Later hand colour.
The engravers who have been identified to have worked on this plates for this work include A.M. Variana, Pietro Cortona, Guido Reni and A Sacchi.
Reference: Nissen BBI 620; Pritzel 2877.
A very fine engravings from the first edition in Italian of the earliest treatise on the contemporary flower garden, a masterpiece of baroque copper engraving sponsored by the Barbarini family. The four books describe innovations in garden techniques, choice of site and preparation, and selected species for planting with latest methods. Ferrari details the use of flowers in arrangement, both in the soil and as artistic devices; knowing their various characteristics and qualities he describes how best to enjoy each kind.