Frontispiece of Hortus Indicus Malabaricus (Vol. 1), 1678

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This title page perfectly illustrates the melding of Indian and European influences in the creation of van Reede’s tome describing the medicinal properties of Indic plants. The artist inscribed the title in the center of a classical Greco-Roman entablature, upheld by two caryatids, in the middle of a tropical garden. In the foreground, he invents an Indian goddess of botany, who holds a rake and is attended to by four Indian cherubs. Every illustration within the Hortus also attests to the synthesis of European and Indic descriptive practices by listing the local plant name in Roman, Malayalam, Nagari, and Arabic scripts.

Frontispiece of Hortus Indicus Malabaricus (Vol. 1)
Artist Life
Accession Number
Dwight and Helen Minnich, Minneapolis
Catalogue Raisonne
Nissen 1625
Curator Approved

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