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Exhibit of the Month

January 2020

Blumen und Insecten-Buch : Darinnen auf das fleissigste nicht allein die Blumen mit ihren Blättern nach dem Leben ins Kupffer vor Augen gestellet; … -- Nürnberg : getruckt bey Christian Sigmund Froberg, [1713]. -- 14 pages, 66 illustrated supplements : coloured illustrations ; 2° (34 cm)
NK ČR, shelf mark Sb 350

A coloured copy of the anonymous botanical work published in Nuremberg around 1713. Apart from the preface, the book contains sixty-six full-page copperplate engravings. Johann Georg Puschner (1680-1749), a German astronomer and engraver, is the author of an allegorical title page that introduces a series of sixty-five engravings of flowers, and his siglum can be found on the engraving No. 64, too. Signed are also the engravings No. 6 and 57, made by German engraver Jodocus Egidius Krauß (active 1705-1753). Most engravings are set in a simple frame with dimensions 16-17 cm x 23 cm, with Arabic numbering in the lower left corner.

It is basically a scientific „colouring book“ – scientifically accurate and realistic illustrations with detailed instructions how to colour them. The preface dedicated to a „flower lover“ emphasizes that the illustrations were created on the basis of a careful observation of the size, shape, and colours of the individual plants [Picture1].  The index entries are accompanied by detailed information about colours and the way how to colour the individual parts of the flowers [Picture 2].  Although the engravings depict also insects and small animals, instructions for colouring are given for flowers only. The index also includes a list of all used colours and their shades, with indicating the method of their mixing with water or other substances. Period names of the colours and descriptions of their use are a valuable source of information for current research.

Jan 08, 2020
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