MUNTING, Abraham (1626-1683)
Phytographia Curiosa, exhibens arborum, fruticum, herbarum & florum icones, ducentis & quadraginta quinque tabulis ad vivum delineatis ac artisiciosissime aeri incisis.
Amsterdam: Rod. & Gerh. Westenios, 1713. 2 parts (text and plates) in one volume, folio. (15 5/16 x 9 11/16 inches). Half-title, additional engraved title with elaborate emblematic surround (bound in as frontispiece), letterpress title in red and black, engraved dedication leaf to Dr. Benjamin Fagel incorporating his coat-of-arms, 2 engraved head-pieces (the second repeated once) by J. Baptiste [Adam] after Jan Goeree, woodcut initials and tail-piece, 245 engraved plates of plants, all but one unsigned but some or all possibly by Joseph Mulder. (Paper loss along the fore-edge margin of one plate not affecting the image, ten letters on title in ink facsimile, else scattered minor foxing).
18th-century panelled calf, covers tooled in blind, rebacked to style, spine with raised bands in seven compartments, red morocco lettering piece in the second compartment. (Restoration at the tips).
First Latin edition, second issue of the most extraordinary botanical work of the pre-Linnean period, with "illustrations that are remarkable for their elegance and originality" (Oak Spring Flora).
This is the second issue of the Latin edition of the author's Naauwkeurige beschryving der aardgewassen (1696) based, in part, on his Waare Oeffning der Planten (1672). Abraham Munting "was an eminent professor of botany and chemistry at the University of Groningen ... [he also] founded one of the most extensive botanical gardens of the period, known as the 'Paradise of Groningen', which he directed from 1658 up until his death in 1683. Munting wrote a number of works on medical-botanical topics, but [the present work] ... enjoyed particular success, at least in part due to the novelty of the plates, which, in a radical departure from ... the traditional florilegium, presented its plant species against charming landscape backgrounds ...The illustrations are remarkable for their elegance and originality ... Each plate shows a different plant in flower, including many exotics from America and other distant lands. The plant dominates the foreground, filling the entire page, often with a detail of the fruit or flowers presented on a smaller scale. In some cases the plants are presented à trompe l'oeil, while in others they are arranged in decorated urns. Some gardening tools are depicted as well. The name of each plant appears written [in Latin] on an elegantly fluttering ribbon or cartouche, or on a crumbling marble plaque. The originality of the work lies, however, in the small landscapes that have been inserted into the background of the plates. Here the artist gave free rein to his imagination, delineating scenes that in reality bore little relation to the habitat of the plant. Pastorals with animals and figures alternate capriously with vistas of walled cities and landscapes containing statues and ruins." (Oak Spring Flora p.174).
Cf. Great Flower Books (1990) p.123 (1702 issue); cf. Hunt 404 (1702 issue); Nissen BBII 1429; Oak Spring Flora 45.