Silver Groundsel

g codexJohannes Simon Holtzbecher  (before 1649 – after 1671)

for Friedrich III, duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf, who engaged Holtzbecher to paint a visual record of his gardens. The result is the Gottorf Codex, four volumes containing 1180 flower paintings. From the archives it is clear that Holtzbecher drew from nature. Even in Hamburg the artist was able to draw from nature, since deliveries of botanist’s boxes of flowers are recorded as having been sent to him from Gottorf .       

Christie’s catalogue

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. One of my favorite plants rendered softly and beautifully.

    • It seems unlike other early botanical renderings, doesn’t it? A swirl instead of a specimen.

      • Actually, it took me a while to find it—I recognized the plant–I’ve seen it here a lot, and wondered what it was called–
        He called it ‘Senocio bicolour’, which brought up nothing but his own picture of it.
        Finally broke it down into different forms of senocio,
        Of course, a lot of humble groundsel came up. –Funny that they’re related; one looks so elegant, ornamental, and deliberate—the other a tough little weed.


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