Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566,) was a founding father of modern botany, honored to this day in the vivid flower, and corresponding color, Fuchsia. In 1543, Fuchs combined his masterful botanical knowledge with groundbreaking medical research in his New Herbal, a catalog of some 500 types of plants and their healing properties.
While a dependable scientific reference, The New Herbal won fame above all with the detail and quality of its illustrations. Alongside essays describing the plants’ features, origins, and medicinal powers, Fuchs presented each plant with meticulous woodcut illustrations, refining the ability for swift species identification and setting new standards for accuracy and quality in botanical publications. From the age of great exploration, The New Herbal also documented plant types from the recently discovered New World, offering the first visual record of tobacco, maize, kidney bean, and cactus.
This fresh TASCHEN reprint is based on Fuchs’s personal, hand-colored copy, which has miraculously survived four-and-a-half centuries in pristine condition. Fascinating for historians of medicine and art, gardeners, and anyone interested in herbal medicine, the volume features over 500 splendid illustrations, excerpted facsimiles of Fuchs’s original texts, and an essay exploring the history of healing herbs.