An original specimen printed in Basel in 1542 including 517 colour woodcuts. The herbarium is an extraordinary scientific document and artistic masterpiece that has always been a source of fascination to enthusiasts of medicinal botany and art historians.
A new scientific criteria
The description of the 343 plants is based on new scientific criteria – nomenclature, morphology and typical place of growth – and, in particular, their "vires" curative virtues), a classification that makes reference also to the Classical writers Galen and Hippocrates.Also included are an extensive glossary, an index in Greek, Latin and German, and a list of entries relating to spices.
A realistic representation of the botanical world
The scientific value and precision of the herbarium is enhanced by the 517 superb watercolour woodcut plates that represent an important step forward in phytography. They are the fruit of the partnership between Fuchs and a number of artists whose portraits are included in the frontispiece of the work, next to that of the author. It is thanks to the painters and the engraver that "De historia stirpium" contains pictures of flowers and plants that had never previously been so realistically depicted. For the first time the general appearance of the plants is favoured, showing the roots, stalk, leaves, flowers and fruits to ensure correct identification of plants found in nature. The work, which was translated into several languages, was a standard botanical reference in the sixteenth century.