Inspired by Codex Kentmanus

Botanical Encounter is inspired by the 16-century naturalist book Codex Kentmanus.

The book contains one of the earliest collections of botanical arts. It consists of hundreds of illustrations from German physician Johannes Kentmann, prints by his son Theophil Kentmann, and contributions by many artists and scholars through exchanges and collaborations.

It is a book of art and science, celebrating human-plant encounters and representing knowledge exchange.

Visit Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek’s website to learn more about Codex Kentmanus >>

Johannes Kentmann’s plant drawings, illustrate the plants he encountered in Padua Botanical Garden during his study in Italy.

There, Johannes met the plants he didn’t know before. At his time, they were rarely depicted in the north of the Alps. Some of them were not even from Europe. They traveled to Italy through international trade.

Meeting these new plants, Johannes started to observe and, with his paintbrushes, document them in detail. His arts become one of the earliest collections of botanical illustrations.

Explore Johannes Kentmann’s plant drawings >>

On the other hand, Johannes’ son Theophil Kentmann chose to document his local plant acquaintances in Germany with a new technique -- natural self-printing (Naturselbstdruck).

Plant parts were colored with black soot or charcoal ink, then rubbed by hand onto a paper. The result prints were later colored with verdigris solution and other pigments.

Explore Theophil Kentmann’s plant prints >>

And you?

How do botanical encounters spark your creativity?

Share them on the map! >>