Ferrari, Giovanni Battista (c 1582-1655)
Giovanni Baptista Ferrari was an Italian Jesuit and professor in Rome, a botanist, and an author of both illustrated plant books as well as a Latin-Syrian dictionary (the Nomenclator syriacus, 1622). Ferrari devoted himself until 1632 to the study of cultivation of ornamental plants. He published De Florum Cultura, which was illustrated with copperplate engravings. The first book featured the design and maintenance of the garden and garden equipment, the second book provided descriptions of the different flowers, while the third book featured the culture of this flower, and the fourth book continued with a treatise on the use and the beauty of the flower species, including their different varieties and mutations.
Another famous work is the Hesperides sive de Malorum Aureorum Cultura et Usu Libri Quatuor, first published in 1646. It is a four-part work, the first of which features the lore of the citrus fruit. The next three parts contain 80 plates of citrons, lemons, and oranges. Ferrari was very careful about the taxonomy given the fruits, which is shown written in the fanciful ribbon surrounding each fruit. The engravings were created by the best artists of the day, including Johann Friedrich Greuter and Cornelis Blowmaert. The objective of the work was to illustrate the science, lore, and poetic illustration of the citrus family. The fruits are shown in their natural size, some as a whole fruit and others cut open, and with their natural foliage. Other plates show Hercules, mythological scenes, garden buildings, orangeries, garden tools, etc.
Prints from this publication are very rare