RONDELET - ZOOPHYTES woodcut 1558
With fine later hand colouring, this very rare and original Zoophytes woodcut is from Guillaume Rondelet's magnificent “L’Histoire entire des poissons,” published in Lyon, France, in 1558, and includes both freshwater and marine biology.
Rondelet (1507 -1566) a distinguished zoologist, anatomist and professor of medicine at the University of Montpellier, was seen as “the grandfather of modern ichthyology” and attracted students for all over Europe to his lectures, including eminent zoologists, Ulisse Aldrovandi and Conrad Gesner.
“L’Histoire entire des poissons” is considered the most important and influential of the three illustrated ichthyological books published in the 16th century. Rondelet covers more species than Belon’s 1553 and Salviani’s 1554/7 works.
“Rondelet is superior to the other two authors in the number of fishes he knew, and even though his drawings, which are wood engravings, do not compare to Salviani’s for beauty, they have great accuracy and are especially remarkable for their characteristic details.”
(Pietsch - Cuvier - Historical Portrait of the Progress of Ichthyology 1995)