Johannes Commelin

Johannes Commelin . Horti medici Amstelodamensis. Amsterdam, 1697.

Johannes Commelin . Horti medici Amstelodamensis. Amsterdam, 1697.

This sumptuous work is a record of the exotic plants in the Amsterdam physic garden, of which Jan Commelin was director Johannes Commelin  (1629-1692 ) was a Dutch spice merchant who used his wealth and connections to build the Amsterdam Botanical Gardens into Europe's leading centre for the study of botany in the late seventeenth century.

Holland's central position in international trade made Amsterdam the ideal location to collect and study the exotic plants discovered by Europeans in the East Indies, Africa and the Americas. Commelin wrote much of the text for this work, but it was completed by his nephew, Caspar Commelin (1667-1731). The original paintings for the engravings were by Jan and Maria Moninckx.

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