"In the middle of the seventeenth century Johann von Nassau returned to his estate and castle at Idstein, which had been devastated by the Thirty Years War. A sophisticated collector, he acquired paintings, stuffed birds and objects of every kind for his cabinet of curiosities. He created a garden full of rare plant species, grottoes decorated with shells, fountains, and flower-beds in the shape of vegetables and fruit. In the desire to immortalize his garden, Johann von Nassau engaged Johann Walter (1604-1677), a painter from Strasbourg, to record it. This was the origin of the Florilegium, a work of great artistic quality.
Now kept in the department of Prints and Photography of the BNF, it comprises 54 gouaches on vellum, including a portrait of the prince in his cabinet of curiosities, a portrait of the painter, and views of the castle and garden, following by 30 plates depicting flowers and 12 depicting fruits, all remarkable originality."
Laure Beaumont-Maillet, conservateur général des bibliothèques, is an archvist and palaeographer. from 1983 to 2007, she was director of the department of Prints and Photography of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Paperback, illustrated cover (Composition de fruits avec giraumon, 1662)