With his 1543 herb manual, botanical pioneer Leonhart Fuchs created a masterpiece of Renaissance botany and publishing. This edition is based on Fuchs’s personal, hand-colored original and features over 500 illustrations, including the first visual record of New World plant types such as maize, cactus, and tobacco.
Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet
Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566,) was a founding father of modern botany,
honored to this day in the vivid flower, and corresponding color, Fuchsia. In
1543, Fuchs combined his masterful botanical knowledge with groundbreaking
medical research in his New Herbal, a catalog of some 500 types of
plants and their healing properties.
While a dependable scientific reference, The New Herbal won fame above all with the detail and quality of its illustrations. Alongside essays describing the plants’ features, origins, and medicinal powers, Fuchs presented each plant with meticulous woodcut illustrations, refining the ability for swift species identification and setting new standards for accuracy and quality in botanical publications. From the age of great exploration, The New Herbal also documented plant types from the recently discovered New World, offering the first visual record of tobacco, maize, kidney bean, and cactus.
This edition is based on Fuchs’s personal, hand-colored copy, which has miraculously survived four-and-a-half centuries in pristine condition. Fascinating for historians of medicine and art, gardeners, and anyone interested in herbal medicine, the volume features over 500 splendid illustrations, and an essay exploring the history of healing herbs.
Werner Dressendörfer is a pharmaceutical historian, academic librarian, and former honorary Professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. His particular spheres of interest are the history of the Early Modern herbal, the cultural history of useful and medicinal plants, and plant symbolism in art. He has published extensively on pharmaceutical and botanical history and is the author of TASCHEN’s The Garden at Eichstätt, The Lilies, Leonhart Fuchs: The New Herbal of 1543, Pomona Britannica, The Temple of Flora, and The Vegetable Garden.
Leonhart Fuchs. The New Herbal