Cactus – Cereus quadrangularis.; J. Weinmann & G.D. Ehret – 1736-1748
Johann Wilhelm Weinmann (1683 – 1741) / Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708–1770) / Bartholomeus Seuter (1678-1754).
Contemporary colored print of two cacti in a pot by Georg Ehret. From Duidelijke Vertoning, the Dutch edition of the famous Phytanthoza Iconographia by Johann Weinmann.
Oudtijds gekleurde prent van twee cactussen in en pot door Georg Ehret. Uit Duidelijke Vertoning, de Nederlandse uitgave van de beroemde Phytanthoza Iconographia van Johann Weinmann.
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Iconic print after the work of Georg Dionysius Ehret, one of the most famous botanical illustrators of the 18th century.
Iconische prent naar het werk van Georg Dionysius Ehret, één van de beroemdste botanische kunstenaars van de 18e eeuw.
- Type: natural history print, botany
- Title: a. Cereus quadrangularis. b. Cereus (..). Plate 356
- Technique: copper engraving, mezzotint coloured print and contemporary coloured by hand
- Illustrator: Georg Dionysius Ehret
- Engraver: Bartholomeus Seuter
- Author: –
- Botanist: Johann Wilhelm Weinmann
- Date: 1736-1748
- Published in: Duidelyke Vertoning, Eeniger Duizend in alle vier waerelds deelen wassende Bomen, Stammen, Kruiden, Bloemen, Vrugten, en Uitwassen (..). by Zacharias Romberg in Amsterdam
- Size print: 32.0 x 21.0 cm (12.6 x 8.3 inches)
- Size paper: 40.0 x 24.7 cm (15.7 x 9.7 inches)
- Verso: blank
- ID: 7520 B
- Source: Nissen 2126 / Landwehr 212
Excellent, given age. General age-related toning and/or occasional minor spots and defects from handling. Sharp print on laid paper with clear coloring.
Uitstekend, gegeven de leeftijd. Scherpe afdruk op gelegd papier met heldere inkleuring en een enkel vlekje.
Johann Wilhelm Weinmann (1683-1741) was a Regensburg apothecary and councillor. He created a botanical garden in Regensburg, published the Catalogus Alphabetico ordine exhibens Pharmaca in 1723 and contributed botanical notes as Observationes und Anmerkungen in the Breslauer Sammlungen.
Weinmann organized the publication of Phytanthoza Iconographia (1737-1745), a huge florilegum which was not only very beautiful but which also influenced the publication of similar works worldwide. The complete edition consists of 8 volumes (4 text & 4 plate) and was published in Regensburg. The mezzotint process used here had been invented by Johann Teyler in the Netherlands around 1688. As practiced here by Bartholomeus Seuter, it was really a combination of etching and mezzotint, which made possible delicate lines and a very fine grain. The addition of hand-tinting brought about unusual and subtle effects.
The current edition is the first Dutch translation of that epic work, reputedly with better plates, as a higher quality paper was used. It is said that the introduction of a copy of this Dutch translation into Japan radically changed the illustrated botanical literature, and led to the production of the 96-volume illustrated herbal Honzo Zufu by Iwasaki Kanen.
Phytanthoza Iconographia is highly regarded for the quality of its colour plates, and the accuracy of its images compared with previous herbals. Weinmann was greatly respected for his writings on medicinal plants and herbs, and Phytanthoza iconographia is recognised as the first important botanical work to use colour engraved prints.
The plates for this work were by the engravers Bartholomeus Seuter (1678-1754), Johann Elias Ridinger (1698–1767), and Johann Jakob Haid (1704–1767). The descriptions for plates 1-73 were provided by Johann Georg Nicolaus Dieterichs (1681–1737), for plates 76-525 by Ludwig Michael Dieterichs (1716–1769) and Ambrosius Karl Bieler finished the descripions. Herman Boerhaave and Johann Burmann compiled an index for the work.
In 1730 Weinmann employed the youthful Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708–1770) as illustrator. Because Phytanthoza iconographia was to become Ehret’s first published work, he set about the project with great enthusiasm. After the first 500 plates, Ehret realised that he was receiving a niggardly payment and soon found new employment copying plates, while being able to produce other paintings independently. As a result of this quarrel between artist and patron, his name was expunged from the plates. Even at this early stage in his career, Ehret’s style is easily identified, particularly in various gourds, aloes and cacti growing in distinctive pots and urns. Ehret was replaced by the female artist N. Asamin.
Ehret’s first major sale of flower paintings came through Dr. Christoph Joseph Trew, eminent physician and botanist of Nuremberg, who recognized his exceptional talent and became both patron and lifelong friend. Ehret sent him large batches of watercolours on the fine-quality paper Trew provided. In 1733 Trew taught Ehret the botanical importance of floral sexual organs and advised that he should show them in detail in his paintings.
George Dionysios Ehret became one of the most influential European botanical artists of all time. He collaborated with Carl Linnaeus and George Clifford in 1735-1736. Clifford, a wealthy Dutch banker and governor of the Dutch East India Company was a keen botanist with a large herbarium. He had the income to attract the talents of botanists such as Linnaeus and artists like Ehret. Together at the Clifford estate, Hartecamp, which is located south of Haarlem near Bennebroek, they produced the Hortus Cliffortianus in 1737, a masterpiece of early botanical literature.
Many of Ehret’s watercolours were engraved in Trew’s works, such as Hortus Nitidissimus (1750-1786) and Plantae selecta (1750-1773). Trew named the genus Ehretia after him.