7 June 2000
SCHEUCHZER, Johann Jakob (1672-1733). Kupfer-Bibel, in welcher die Physica Sacra, oder geheiligte Natur-Wissenschafft derer in Heil. Schrifft vorkommenden Natürlichen Sachen. Augsburg and Ulm: Christian Ulrich Wagner, 1731-35.
4 volumes, 2° (381 x 233mm). Half-title in vol.I, engraved frontispiece, 2 portraits of the author, one a mezzotint, and 760 engraved plates by Tyroff, Pintz, Fridrich and others, 5 double-page. (Some browning in text, top fore-corners at end of vol. IV waterstained.) Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spines with contrasting labels (slightly rubbed, corners bumped).
'In Scheuchzer's gigantic work, Physica sacra, the Baroque attains, philosophically as well as artistically, its high point and its conclusion' (Faber du Faur, German Baroque Literature, p. 472). Scheuchzer, a doctor and natural scientist from Zurich, planned the Physica sacra as an explanation of and a commentary on the Bible on natural-scientific grounds. He himself oversaw the illustrations which were largely based on his own natural history cabinet or on other famous European cabinets of rare specimens. He entrusted the central designs to Johann Melchior Füssli and the elaborate borders to Johann Daniel Preissler, and they were engraved by highly skilled engravers including Georg Daniel Heumann and Johann August Corvinus. (4)
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