Book ID: CBB471515506

Flora: Federico Cesi's Botanical Manuscripts (2015)


This three-volume catalogue presents five manuscripts containing some 780 mainly botanical drawings, now in the library of the Institut de France. They were produced for Federico Cesi in the 1620s to further the researches of the scientific society he had founded in Rome, the Accademia dei Lincei, of which Cassiano dal Pozzo was a member. The manuscripts were acquired by Cassiano in 1633 following Cesi's death, together with three companion manuscripts dedicated to drawings of fungi (published in Part B.II of the catalogue raisonné). Many of the drawings depict plants such as ferns, bryophytes, mosses and liverworts, which had been considered 'imperfect' because (like fungi) they seemed to lack reproductive structures - flowers, fruit or seeds. In 1624 Galileo gave his fellow academicians a microscope, and with this novel 'aid to the eyes', wrote another Linceo, 'our Prince Cesi saw to it that many plants hitherto believed by botanists to be lacking in seeds were drawn on paper'. Indeed, these drawings constitute some of the earliest microscopic studies in the history of science. One manuscript is dedicated to illustrations of seaweeds and is the first known sustained study of this subject, while another is a miscellaneous volume that includes 30 prints as well as drawings of fungi and lichen, insects, a bat, a hermaphrodite rat and other curiosities. Introductory essays discuss the importance of these drawings to Cesi's researches and how the manuscripts made their way into the collections of the Institut de France, their botanical content and place in the history of botanical illustration. All drawings are reproduced as full-plate colour illustrations and accompanied by botanical identifications and commentary.

Reviewed By

Review Sachiko Kusukawa (2018) Review of "Flora: Federico Cesi's Botanical Manuscripts". Archives of Natural History (pp. 181-182). unapi

Review Florike Egmond (2016) Review of "Flora: Federico Cesi's Botanical Manuscripts". Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza (pp. 240-242). unapi

Review Janice Neri (2016) Review of "Flora: Federico Cesi's Botanical Manuscripts". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 836-837). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Trabucco, Oreste
Galluzzi, Paolo
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Rome)
Solinas, Francesco
Peers, Glenn
Spatharakis, Iohannis
Jahrbuch der österreichischen Byzantinistik
Archives of Natural History
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Renaissance Studies
Tarikh-e Elm (The Iranian Journal for the History of Science)
Leo S. Olschki
Alexandros Press
British Library
La Città del Sole
University of California, Los Angeles
Springer International
Natural history
Societies; institutions; academies
Cesi, Federico
Galilei, Galileo
Della Porta, Giovan Battista
Dal Pozzo, Cassiano
Corvino, Enrico
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
11th century
9th century
Rome (Italy)
Andalusia (Spain)
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Rome)

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