Funding: NEH Preservation and Access "Art and Architectural Images from Eastern Europe and Eurasia."
Statement of responsibility: Iussu et auspiciis Catharinae II Augustae edidit P. S. Pallas
Biographical/historical: Books meant to distinguish different kinds of plants appear very early in the history of books and their production. Herbals, depicting plants used for healing and those with magical properties, were most often based on the works of the ancient writers, Dioscurides, Apuleius Platonicus, and Pliny the Elder. Preserved in medieval manuscripts, they emerged as a popular category of early printed book. Often they were illustrated with woodcuts. Rapidly developing printing technology, a revolutionary empirical spirit and the plants discovered in New World explorations in the 16th century, drove the development of books illustrated with more naturalistic and accurate depictions represented by various forms of metal engraving which had found a place in the manufacture of books.