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These engravings originally were published in Theatrum Florae in Paris in 1622 as a collection of plates of the most beautiful flowering plants available in early 17th century Europe. They were republished in this late 18th Century edition. Each print is based on an original work by Daniel Rabel, one of the leading originators of the art of botanical painting.
Rabel seems to have been the first artist commissioned by Gaston d'Orleans, brother of Louis XIII, to document his botanical collection. Other artists later contributed to the project, notably Nicolas Robert (1614-1685), which eventually numbered over 6,000 watercolors, which are known as the Velins du Museum and reside in the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle, in Paris.
According to scholar Wilfrid Blunt, an album of Rabel's drawings are "one of the miracles of early flower painting."