“Powerful Grace Lies in Herbs and Plants”

Leonhart Fuchs

In De historia stirpium Leonhart Fuchs aimed to include all known medical plants of Europe and some of the Americas together with a description and an illustration. In the preface he points out the need for this kind of work: “. . . is it to be wondered at that kings and princes do not at all regard the pursuit of the investigation of plants, when even the physicians of our time so shrink from it that it is scarcely possible to find one among a hundred who has an accurate knowledge of even so many as a few plants?” (Arber, Herbals) The brilliantly crafted woodcuts by three artisans based on live specimens made great impact on readers. Colored illustrations were produced for only a limited number of copies, of which this copy is one.

Basel: In officina Isigriniana, 1542. (Missouri Botanical Garden)

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