The series of 12 prints reproduced and brought together in this display folder is taken from I Discorsi di Pietro Andrea Mattioli...nelli sei libri di Dioscoride Anazarbeo..., a translation of the Greek De Materia Medica. After the first vernacular Italian edition in 1544, various others followed; one of the most prized amongst these being the "large-illustration" version printed in 1568 in Venice which includes the splendid prints used here.
An example of this prestigious edition was entrusted to the botanical painter Gherardo Cibo (1512-1600), who beautifully coloured the illustrations, embellishing the images they depict with landscapes. Today, the work is preserved in the Biblioteca Universitaria Alessandrina of Rome, which has awarded Aboca reproduction rights for the entire volume.
The folder presents a selection of the most representative illustrations of Mattioli's scientific work and of Cibo's art:
- Lumia Lemon (Citrus lumia)
- Callus (Chestnut)
- Elephant (Elephante)
- Honey (Mele)
- Eddoe (Colocasia antiquorum)
- Mallow (Malva maior)
- Cornflower (Cyanus segetum maior)
- Dragon Arum (Dracunculus vulgaris)
- Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris)
- White Waterlily (Nymphaea alba)
- European Yew (Taxus baccata)
- Distiller (Fornace Prima).
The 12 prints are contained in a green hardback artificial-leather bound folder. The prints are separated with tissue-paper dividers and held in a laminated wooden frame inside the back cover, with a ribbon for easy removal.