Plantae selectae quarum imagines ad exemplaria naturalia Londini, in hortis curiosorum nutritamanu artificiosa doctaque pinxit Georgius Dionysius Ehret. Nuremberg, 1750-1773. Engravings with original hand-coloring
This work is the magnum opus of the long and fruitful collaboration between Georges Ehret, and Trew. Ehret traveled widely, sending back hundreds of botanical drawings and paintings, which were included in the present work. For "Plantae Selectae", the level of botanical interest and exotic appeal were how the two chose which illustrations to use. They had to decide on a way to present these tropical subjects to the public that had only recently been introduced to Europe. Johannes Jacobus and Johannes Elias Haid translated Ehret's exceptional and remarkably sensuous watercolors into hand-colored engravings that represented everything Ehret's work was about. Ehret had met Linnaeus in 1736 and the latter's work moved the artist to analyze the structure of the plant before trying to represent it. The Latin text was written by Trew and describes each plant, the history of its discovery and additional comments. Each species is compared with descriptions written by other botanical authors in order to definitively classify each plant. This great work was not finished until after Ehret's death, though his instructions were followed as to the layout. Linnaeus praised this work in a letter to Trew, calling it one of the great miracles of the century.
THE MAJORITY OF THE PLATES IN EHRET'S MAGNUM OPUS ARE EXOTIC SPECIES NATIVE TO THE AMERICAS.