Friday, October 7, 2011

Horti Medici: Zantedeschia

The above illustration of a Zantedeschia (Arum lily or calla lily) is found in Horti Medici Amstelodamensis Rariorum, which was conceived by Johannes Commelin (1629-1692) and published between 1697 and 1701. The publication was overseen by Commelin's nephew, Caspar (1668-1731).

A few facts about Horti medici amstelodamensis
1. It was published with Latin and Dutch text in parallel.
2. The project's director was Jan Commelin, who was in charge of the Amsterdam Physic Gardens.
3. The work was intended to document plants in the gardens, which were expanding considerably during Commelin's time.
4. Illustrations are copperplate engravings after paintings by various artists, principally Jan Moninckx and his daughter, Maria Moninckx.

A few facts about Zantedeschia
1. The plant's name, Zantedeschia, honors the Italian physician and botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi.
2. It is native to South Africa.
3. Some species of the genus are evergreen; hybrids are not.
4. Callas feature in many paintings, notably those of Mexican artist Diego Rivera.

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