Christoph Jacob Trew, 1695-1769
Plantae Selectae Quarum Imagines.
Trew, born in Nuremberg in 1695, was a city solicitor, court physician, Count Palatine of the Holy Roman Empire, advisor to the Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, and had an academic passion for botany. He was a member of the Royal Society of London, the Berlin Academy, and the Florentine Botanical Society (Herbal of the Count Palatine 1985, 7). His interest in botany led him to sponsor the publication of illustrated botanical books.
In 1732 Christoph Jacob Trew saw some of Ehret's drawings and asked him to send him some drawings.
Georg Ehret, "one of the most outstanding botanical artists of the eighteenth century," (Henrey 1975, v. 2, 62) was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and learned the basic principles of drawing from his father, who was a German market gardener (Art of George Ehret 1999). Ehret worked as an apprentice for an uncle at a garden of the Elector of Heidelberg, and for the Margrave of Baden. After leaving this position, he settled in Regensburg and painted pictures for a pharmacist, Johann Wilhelm Weinmann, and copied exotic plants from plates in the Hortus Malabaricus for a banker.
In 1732 Christoph Jacob Trew saw some of Ehret's drawings and asked him to send him some drawings "on large fine paper" (Henrey 1975, v. 2, 63). Trew became Ehret's patron and Ehret "continued to send paintings to Trew over a period of many years" (Henrey 1975, v. 2, 63).
The publication of Plantae Selectae began in 1750 and was completed in 1773.
Ehret left Regensburg and toured Europe, introducing himself to the scholars of botany and horticulture. He returned to England in 1736, married Susannah Kennett, "and spent the rest of his life painting, illustrating, and teaching" (Art of Georg Ehret 1999). He was made a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1757 (Blunt 1950, 146).
"Ehret's most important engraved work is to be found in . . . Trew's Plantae Selectae . . ." (Blunt 1950, 149). The publication of Plantae Selectae began in 1750 and was completed in 1773. Initially, Trew wrote the plant descriptions. Benedict Christoph Vogel wrote them after Trew's death in 1769.
"The Art of George Dionysius Ehret: 1708-1770." Kirtland, Ohio: The Holden Arboretum, 1999. Text of exhibit on Internet available from http://members.aol.com/arbexhibit/ehretex.htm; accessed December 21, 2006. (This link was no longer working on April 7, 2009.)
Blunt, Wilfrid. The Art of Botanical Illustration. London: Collins, 1950.
Henrey, Blanche. British Botanical Literature Before 1800. London: Oxford University Press, 1975. Part II.
[Herbal of the Count Palatine. London: Harrap, 1985.]