XVII-wieczny „ogród zdrowia”. Parnassus medicinalis illustratus w tradycji ilustrowanych kompendiów farmaceutycznych

Julia Czapla


The article analyses a compendium Parnassus medicinalis illustratus published in the years 1662–1663. Prepared by Johann Joachim Becher, the work was a richly illustrated “garden of health” – a collection of pieces of information on healing properties of plants, animals and minerals. An impulse to its publication was a purchase of woodcut blocks by a publisher, Johann Görlin the Elder. The blocks were made for Conrad Gesner and first printed in Pietro Andrea Mattioli’s herbarium published by Joachim Camerarius the Younger in 1586. The prints were considered to have been well done and to be worth using again. They were supplemented with the prints patterned on the 16th-century treatises and prepared in Ulm. The history of the Parnassus woodcuts contributes into the research on the mechanisms of using old natural illustration. It is a rare example of a situation when a publisher came up with an initiative to publish woodcut blocks purchased from Camerarius’s collection and supplemented them with new but old-like illustrations he commissioned and with a text inspired by the medival in form “gardens of health” .