Drawn From Nature – The Botanical Art of Joseph Prestele and His Sons. – Van Ravenswaay, Charles.

Van Ravenswaay, Charles.


Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington DC. 1984 (Ist Edition)
ID: 47985 Categories: ,


4to, VI, 357pp. Softcover in laminated cream pictorial boards with illustrations on both covers in excellent condition, text and all illustrations including superb colour plates as the centrepiece of the book remain in pristine condition on white high quality glossy paper with detailed text printed on cream paper either side of the central ninety -five page illustration section devoid of all extraneous markings. During the 1970’s Dr Fritz Herrmann, a scholar living at Friedberg , Hassen in West Germany, came upon a publication on the most poisonous plants of Germany, published in 1943. One of its two parts was a portfolio of twenty four “absolutely enchanting” colour plates by an artist named Joseph Prestele operating out of a small print shop in Friedberg. Little or nothing was known about this talented artist till a brief work was published about him. Quite independently then, the author came across his name and work seperately in a US book publication. and he learnt that the career of this quiet and self-effacing artist touched people and events important in the history of lithography. He was also moved by the personal story of the man and his wife with their abiding religious faith, being involved in a communal religious sect. whose search for a refuge eventually led them from Germany to the Iowa frontier. Hence this interesting and attractive book resulted from the author’s quest for Joseph Prestele and his sons. Prestele’s illustrations are nothing less than exquisite and would be a joy for all and any artist and scholar to peruse.