Issue 7.1 Featured Art: Illustrations from De Materia Medica, Gherardo Cibo (1512–1600)

Our featured art for Issue 7.1 comes from the incredible sixteenth century illuminated manuscript, an edition of Pedanius Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica, with written commentary by Italian naturalist and physician Pietro Andrea Mattioli (b. 1501, d. 1577) and illustrations by botanist Gherardo Cibo (b. 1512, d. 1600). When we came across this artwork, we were immediately drawn to its surrealism and exaggerated scale, intrigued by the idea that these oversized plants exist and almost levitate while the rest of the image suggests that nothing is out of the norm. Read more about this collection from the British Library here.


Author: Pietro Andrea Mattioli, Physician of Siena, assembled and illustrated by Gherardo Cibo
Title: Extracts from an edition of Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica
Origin: Italy
Date: c. 1564-1584
Source: British Library
Collection: Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts