The Nassau-Idstein Florilegium
"In the middle of the seventeenth century Johann von Nassau
returned to his estate and castle at Idstein, which had been devastated by the
Thirty Years War. A sophisticated collector, he acquired paintings, stuffed
birds and objects of every kind for his cabinet of curiosities. He created a
garden full of rare plant species, grottoes decorated with shells, fountains,
and flower-beds in the shape of vegetables and fruit. In the desire to
immortalize his garden, Johann von Nassau engaged Johann Walter (1604-1677), a
painter from Strasbourg, to record it. This was the origin of the Florilegium, a
work of great artistic quality.
Now kept in the department of Prints and Photography of the BNF, it comprises 54 gouaches on vellum, including a portrait of the prince in his cabinet of curiosities, a portrait of the painter, and views of the castle and garden, following by 30 plates depicting flowers and 12 depicting fruits, all remarkable originality."