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Never before published, these richly coloured and marvelously fresh 16th-century botanical watercolors rival those of Durer, Leonardo, and Besler for beauty and accuracy. Commissioned from an unknown artist by the Dutch pharmacist Theodorus Clutius as research material for doctors and herbalists, and later used by artists, they were considered lost for 40 years after World War II until their discovery in the Jagellon University Library in Krakow, Poland. Author Claudia Swan, one of the few scholars to have studied the entire collection, sets these unique, original paintings - not prints - in the context of Renaissance art and science.