Rome: Herman Scheus, 1646.
Engraving with hand coloring. Plate 301. Image measures 12 X 8 inches. Some tape residue lower margin.
Unusually large wrinkled lemon with ribbon title in latin from 'Hesperides, Sive, de Malorum Aureorum Cultura et Usu Libri Quatuor', published in Rome in 1646, the first book entirely devoted to citrus fruit, with many depicted in actual size. In cooler parts of Europe, citrus fruit was grown in orangeries starting in the 17th century; many were as much status symbols as functional agricultural structures. Ferrari was the first scientist to provide a complete description of the limes, lemons and pomegranates. He also prescribed limes, lemons and pomegranates as medicinal plants against scurvy. Giovanni Baptista Ferrari (1584 - 1655) was a Jesuit scholar and botanist based in Rome. The engravings were done by the Dutch printmaker Cornelis Bloemaert.