These two works have no connection other than they hit the radar at about the same time. I think they're both solid or honest attempts, from either end of the 19th century, to present specimen illustrations with little in the way of stylistic embellishment. The book on fungi, in particular, seems to be be a fairly comprehensive review of the phylum, with just as many plates devoted to the often overlooked and less visually arresting smaller species - as well as attempts at depicting the obscure life cycles - as there are for the traditional mushroom and toadstool forms. (The plates chosen above don't really reflect this.)
'Das System der Pilze und Schwämme: ein Versuch' (~An attempt at a system of fungi and sponges) by CGD Nees von Esenbeck, 1817, is online at the University of Heidelberg. (hand-coloured engravings)
'Flore Forestière :Illustrée Arbres et Arbustes du Centre de l'Europe' (~Forest flora: illustrated trees and shrubs from central Europe) by C de Kirkwan, 1872, is online at the Missouri Botanical Gardens Botanicus website. (chromolithographs)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Posted by peacay at 2:26 a.m.