A Renaissance masterpiece: 160+ miniatures of plants in their native habitats from the artistic genius and botanist Gherardo Cibo

Extracts from Dioscorides' 'De re medica'

Italy — 1564–1584

Extracts from Dioscorides' 'De re medica'

Extracts from Dioscorides' 'De re medica'

Italy — 1564–1584

  1. De materia medica by Dioscorides (ca. AD 40-90) is a fundamental text in the history of pharmacology

  2. The Discorsi is an Italian translation of Dioscorides by Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501-1577)

  3. Gherardo Cibo (1512-1600) gorgeously decorated the manuscript and added his own notes

Extracts from Dioscorides' 'De re medica'

Alternative Titles:
  • Auszüge aus Dioscorides ''De re medica''
  • Auszüge aus Dioscorides ''De re medica'' illustriert von Gherardo Cibo
  • Dioscórides de Cibo y Mattioli
Dioscórides de Cibo y Mattioli
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

This gorgeous botanical and medical manuscript is a true masterpiece of Renaissance book art created ca. 1564-84 by Gherardo Cibo, an artistic genius and botanist in his own right. It contains the text of the Discorsi, an Italian translation of the ancient text De materia medica by Dioscorides in addition to a selection of medical and botanical texts by the Pietro Andrea Mattioli, a famous physician from Siena. Cibo illustrated the work with more than 160 remarkable pictures of plants and landscapes that rank amongst the most beautiful of the Renaissance.

Extracts from Dioscorides' 'De re medica'

The ancient text De materia medica by Dioscorides (ca. AD 40-90) is a magnum opus of pharmacology and remained a fundamental medical reference well into the Early Modern period. This magnificent specimen is a superb Renaissance manuscript created ca. 1564-84 by the artistic genius and botanist Gherardo Cibo (1512-1600) that features an Italian translation of the work in addition to a selection of medical and botanical texts by Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501-1577), a famous physician from Siena. 160+ full-page miniatures consisting of a detailed depiction of each plant set within in natural environment adorn the text and possess an artistry comparable to contemporary panel paintings.

Who was Dioscorides?

The so-called Dioscorides manuscripts trace their roots back to an ancient doctor. Pedanios Dioscorides Anazerebus was a doctor and naturalist who was born in Anazarba in Asia Minor in the 1st century. He was active as a physician in the Roman army under the Emperors Claudius and Nero. With his treatise concerning the medicinal effects of plants, but also animal and mineral materials, he composed the primary work of early medicine and the template and example for medieval pharmacopeias. De materia medica enjoyed great fame both in the Orient and the Occident with translations in numerous languages.

A Renaissance Masterpiece

Mattioli’s Discorsi is his Italian translation of Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica (1st century AD) with the addition of lengthy commentaries based on his personal experience and on popular and learned medicine. Mattioli’s book was extremely useful for physicians and herbalists not familiar with classical languages. Cibo illustrated the work with more than 160 remarkable pictures of plants and landscapes that rank amongst the most beautiful of the Renaissance. He was an avid reader and admirer of this book by Mattioli and copied entire passages in neat script, adding his own comments, anecdotes, legends, and – more importantly – illustrated them with delicate and lifelike botanical images. His splendid miniatures feature different species of plants standing out in the foreground against the brightly colored landscapes of their natural habitat. Cibo’s manuscript, with its dazzlingly beautiful miniatures, is an unusual and personal version of Mattioli’s printed work and a highly original artistic contribution to both nascent modern science and the history of botanical and landscape illustrations.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Auszüge aus Dioscorides ''De re medica''
Auszüge aus Dioscorides ''De re medica'' illustriert von Gherardo Cibo
Dioscórides de Cibo y Mattioli
Size / Format
370 pages / 26.5 × 19.5 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
1564–1584
Language
Script
Italian Cursive
Illustrations
131 full-page framed watercolor images, 25 watercolor botanical drawings
Content
Discorsi by Pietro Andrea Mattioli
Artist / School
Previous Owners

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Extracts from Dioscorides' 'De re medica'“

Dioscórides de Cibo y Mattioli
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Dioscórides de Cibo y Mattioli

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2021
Limited Edition
987 copies
Binding
Black leather binding with gold tooling
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Spanish
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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