By: G.W. Völcker (painter) & A. Clar (engraver).
Technique: Original coloured stipple-engraving (finished by hand).
Date of printing: 1809
- Condition: very good condition. -
Johann Centurius Graf von Hoffmannsegg (Rammenau, 23 August 1766 – Dresden 13 December 1849) was Sachsonian botanist, entomologist and ornithologist. His official botanical author citation is Hoffmans. Von Hoffmannsegg was the son of Count Johan Albericus von Hoffman and Amalie Elisabeth von Miltitz. He studied history, geography, natural sciences and languages in Leipzig and Göttingen. It was during this period that his passion for botany and entomology, which made him decide to become a explorer and do research on these fields.
His parents died in 1788 and Von Hoffmannsegg would inherit his parental house and his paternal estate in Rammenau. He undertook his first extensive travel to Hungary, Austria and Italy during the years 1793-1794. Afterwards he would travel to Portugal, which he visited by ship with Wilhelm Gottlieb Tilesius von Tilenau. Longer travels were made between 1797 until 1801 with Heinrich Friedrich Link. Over 2100 plant-species were collected during a trip to France, Spain and Portugal. As a result, Link and Von Hoffmannsegg published the monumental work: Flore Portugaise. It contained over 100 large-sized copper-engravings of plants and was the most extensive work on this subject.
In 1820 on Von Hoffmannsegg would establish the Zoological Museum in Berlin but would soon after retire at his estate in Rammenau and in Dresden. He died in Dresden in 1849 and was buried at the old Catholic cemetery. In his honor the Hoffmannseggia (a type of legume) and the Hoffmannseggella (an orchid) was named after him.
The Flore Portugaise or Flore Portugaise ou description de toutes les plantes qui croissent naturellement en Portugal was published between 1809 and 1840. The plan was to publish the work in 28 issues with 114 engraved plates. Berlin Publisher Charles Fréderic Amelang published only 22 issues. Each issue contained 5 plates and 7 or 8 pages of text issued 4 or 5 times a year. German subscribers had to pay 2 Golden Francs and the French would pay 48 (normal) Francs for each issue. Subscriptions and payment could be done directly by contacting Hoffmannsegg at the Rue de la Couronne. Verlag Amelang would later continue the work. The publication of the plates, printed in colour and finished by hand, was supported with the help of the Prussian government. It is unknown if all the 114 plates were published. Complete copies are none-existent. Most of the plates were drawn by J.C. Hoffmansegg, but also by the porcelain-painter G.W. Völcker. The plates were engraved by the Haas brothers, FW. Bollinger, August Clar & J.F. Krethow. The lithographed covers belong to the incunabula of lithography.
The 14-page preface contains a long discussion of the reasoning for preparing the text in French and Latin instead of Portugese and includes the confident prediction: "We flatter ourselves that, despite this being the first work of its nature to have appeared in Germany, it has no fear of standing comparison with other floras, nor indeed with any similar work published to this day."
Sizes (in cm.)
Size of the image (exc. matting): ca. 46.5 x 26.7 cm.
Size of the print (exc. matting): ca. 53 x 35 cm.
Size of the print including mat: 65.2 x 45 cm.
Skillfully matted using museum-quality cardboard, this will ensure correct preservation and presentation of the print.