JC Volkamer : The Book of Citrus Fruits available to buy at Museum Bookstore

JC Volkamer : The Book of Citrus Fruits

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J. C. Volkamer’s ode to the citrus fruit

Johann Christoph Volkamer was a 17th-century Nuremberg silk merchant with passion for gardening that defined his life. He was obsessed with citrus fruit at a time when such fruits were largely unknown in northern Europe. 

His garden came to contain a wide variety of specimens, and he became so obsessed with the fruits that he commissioned a team of copperplate engravers to create 256 plates of 170 varieties of citrus fruits, many depicted life size, published in a two-volume work. .

In both volumes, Volkamer draws on years of hands-on experience to present a far-reaching account of citrus fruits and how to tend them-from a meticulous walk-through of how to construct temporary orangeries, glasshouses, and hothouses for growing pineapples to commentary on each fruit variety, including its size, shape, colour, scent, tree or shrub, leaves, and country of origin. In each plate, Volkamer pays tribute to the verdant landscapes of Northern Italy, his native Nuremberg, and other sites that captured his imagination. From Genovese sea views to the Schoenbrunn Palace, each locale is depicted in the same exceptional detail as the fruit that overhangs it.

We witness branches heavy with grapefruits arching across a sun-bathed yard in Bologna and marvel at a huge pineapple plant sprouting from a South American town. The result is at once a fantastical line-up of botanical beauty and a highly poetic tour through the lush gardens and places where these fruits grew. Few colored sets of Volkamer's work are still in existence today. This publication draws on the two recently discovered hand-colored volumes in the city of Furth's municipal archive in Schloss Burgfarrnbach.

The reprint also includes 56 newly discovered illustrations that Volkamer intended to present in a third volume.

Details
  • Author: Iris Lauterbach
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Date of publication: November 2020
  • ISBN: 978-3836535250
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 47 x 31.4 cm