Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Vienna Dioscurides

Believe it or not, these botanical illustrations were painted in c515 CE. The manuscript, at the Austrian National Library, was made for Anicia Juliana, a daughter of the Western Roman Emperor Olybrius. It consists of 491 vellum folios, showing more than 400 pictures, mostly illustrating the De Materia Medica of Dioscurides. The one above shows a pimpernel.
We'll all pretend we don't know what this one is.
Rather ill looking violets.
Not sure what this one represents.
Anicia Juliana. HERE'S an outline of her story.
The manuscript includes a treatise on birds by someone called Dionysius. The pictures are just as amazing as the plants.

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