Besler, a Nuremburg apothecary and botanist was curator to the elaborate gardens of prince Bishop of Eichstatt in Bavaria. This magnificent garden featured a vast collection of shrubs and flowering plants from Europe, the Orient and the Americas. The Bishop of Eichastatt commissioned Hortus Eysttensis chronicling the garden through the four seasons, with most of the plants depicted in actual size. Over a period of 16 years Besler undertook this monumental florigia, documenting more than a thousand flowers. Besler's lavish drawings were faithfully translated by a team of master engravers, Wolfgang Kilian among them. The Hortus Eysttensis is considered the most visually impressive illustrated botanical publication of all time.

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