Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Medieval Herbal Manuscripts

Months back, I posted this picture as future inspiration for myself. I love botanical prints and I have plenty of old windows lying around.
Since finding this picture, I've had my eye peeled for books with botanical prints in them. I've looked in thrift stores and in the library. In a recent visit to the library with my mom and the little guy, I happened upon this gem:

The Illustrated Herbal is a compilation of European herbal manuscripts from the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Heaven for a history teacher like me. The early herbalists created these manuscripts to record the medicinal uses or dangers of various plants and help others locate and identify plants. The herbal manuscripts mark the beginnings of scientific botany. The pages are beautiful - sometimes highly stylized and sometimes very naturalistic.Most of the pages include writing in either Greek or Latin.

Here are some of my favorites.

Aren't they pretty? I may want to use these in one of my old windows somewhere in the house. I'm not about to tear the pages out of a library book (my sister used to do that in high school when she had projects - down Mrs. 5C - she's reformed), but I'll procure them another nefarious way.


  1. oooo! I love this idea!
    And I love your sister a little less. ;)

  2. I love this book - I stumbled upon it in our local library about 15 years ago. It has been a source of inspiration for me as a floral designer and illustrator. Thanks for posting this and reminding me of this informative and inspiring book.


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