Posts Tagged ‘VitisViniferaIn16thCentHerbals’

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

February 2, 2016 Leave a comment

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.


“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:

A Visual History of 16th Century Herbal Illustrations of Vitis Vinifera

August 20, 2013 4 comments

Herbals are early books which catalogue and illustrate plants.  They reveal the close link between the development of botany and medicine.   In conducting research on 16th century references to grapevines, I came across illustrations of the common European grapevine Vitis Vinifera.  In this post I feature 11 illustrations from the years 1540 to 1595.  Some of the illustrations have been recycled by a single author such as Leonhard Fuchs whereas others are copied such as with Geoffroy Linocier and Antoine Du Pinet de Noroy.  Several illustrations show the root, vine, leaves, and grapes whereas others are clippings.  There are also woodsy vines, curling tendrils, delicately veined leaves, and beautiful grape clusters.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

De Vite. [1]

Vitis Vinifera. Wijngaerr. [2]

De Arboribus Vitis Vinifera. [3]

Vitis vinifera. [4]

Vitis Vinifera. [5]

Vitis Vigne cultiuee. [6]


Vitis vinifera. [7]

Vitis. The Manured Vine. [8]

Vitis Vinifera. [9]

Vitis Vinifera. [10]


Vitis vinifera. Weinreb. [11]

[1] Egenolphus, Christianus. Botanicon. 1540. URL:
[2] Fuchs, Leonhard. Den nieuwen Herbarins, dat is, d’breck van den cruyden(etc.). 1543. URL:
[3] Lonitzer, Adam. Naturalis historiae opus nouum. 1551. URL:
[4] Dioscorides, Pedanius. De medica materia. 1552. URL:
[5] Mattioli, Pietro Andrea. Medici Senensis Commentarii, in libros sex Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei De medica materia. 1554. URL:
[6] Dodoens, Rembert.  Histoire des Plantes. 1557. URL:
[7] de Noroy, Antoine Du Pinet. Historia Plantarum. 1567. URL:
[8] Dodoens, Rembert. A Nievve Herball, or Historie of Plantes. 1578. URL:
[9] Linocier, Geoffroy. L’Histoire des Plantes. 1584. URL:
[10] Durante, Castore. Herbario Nuouo. 1585. URL:
[11] Fuchs, Leonhart. Plantarum et stirpium icones. 1595. URL: