Home > History of Wine, Image > A 16th century illustration of Vitis Vinifera in a Spanish edition of De Materia Medica

A 16th century illustration of Vitis Vinifera in a Spanish edition of De Materia Medica


De Materia Medica is an encyclopedia and pharmacopoeia written by Pedanius Dioscorides who was a Roman physician of Greek origin.  Published in the first century it was translated, copied and published for some 1500 years.  It was first translated from Latin into Spanish during the 16th century.  Andres Laguna, the doctor of Pope Julius III, published his Spanish edition around 1555.

In the section on the grape vine and wine appears a single color image of Vitis Vinifera.  It is a particularly attractive illustration perhaps due to this copy being a gift for the future King Phillip II.  I find the illustration more akin to the 17th century water colors of John Tradescant’s grape clusters than other 16th century Herbal Illustrations.

DeMateriaMedica_Laguna_Page502

“De Materia Medica” by Dioscorides. Published by Laguna c. 1555. [1]


 

[1] “De Materia Medica” by Dioscorides. Available at the World Digital Library through the Biblioteca Digital Hispanica. URL: http://bdh.bne.es/bnesearch/detalle/bdh0000037225

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