Highlights

Johannes Simon Holtzbecker (1610-20 - 1671), Gottorfer Codex, 1649-1659

Flower Garland, KKSgb2947/1. 505x385 mm.
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What is the Gottorfer Codex?

The Gottorfer Codex consists of four large books filled with flower paintings. Each volume has around one hundred pages with approx. three paintings on each page. So there are around 1200 flower paintings in all.

Realistic details

The paintings are of a very high quality and seem to a very large extent to have been based on real flowers. Their details are so realistic that botanists in most cases have been able to identify every plant precisely.

A precious work

The Gottorfer Codex is a very precious work. Today of course, it’s priceless, but even when it was produced in the 17th century it was very precious. Only very wealthy princes could afford such a comprehensive and precious work.

Gottorp Castle in Slesvig

The Gottorfer Codex originates from the library at Gottorp Castle in Slesvig, hence the name. Codex is merely the old, latin word for a book. The flower paintings documented the duke of Gottorp’s famous flower garden right outside the castle. In the 17th century it was the most famous of its kind in Northern Germany.

How did the Gottorfer Codex end up in the Royal Collection of Graphic Art?

The books were part of the spoil of war after the Great Northern War in the beginning of the 18th century. Danish troops occupied the duchy Gottorp in 1713 and after the peace in 1720, Gottorp was included in the Danish kingdom. Both the famous cabinet of curiosities on Gottorp Castle as well as the comprehensive library (of which the Gottorper Codex was a part) were sent to Copenhagen. The Gottorper Codex became part of the Royal Library. When the Royal Collection of Graphic Art was separated from the Royal Library in the 19th century, the Gottorper Codex came with it.

a-b: Cyclamen purpurascens; (ægte alpeviol); c-e: Cyclamen hederifolium; (vedbendbladet alpeviol), KKSgb2947/8. 505x385 mm.
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a-b: Narcissus tazetta; (tazet); c: Narcissus ×medioluteus; (toblomstret narcis); d: Narcissus bulbocodium; (krinoline-narcis), KKSgb2947/20. 505x385 mm.
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a: Hyacinthus orientalis; (almindelig hyacint); b: Hyacinthus orientalis; (almindelig hyacint), lyseblå; c: Hyacinthus orientalis; (almindelig hyacint), hvid, KKSgb2947/26. 505x385 mm.
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Asphodelus ramosus; (grenet affodil), KKSgb2947/36. 505x385 mm.
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Tulipa gesneriana; (have-tulipan), grenet, fyldt, KKSgb2947/44. 505x385 mm.
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a-e: Tulipa gesneriana; (have-tulipan), virusinficeret, KKSgb2947/55. 505x385 mm.
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a-c: Iris latifolia; (engelsk iris), KKSgb2947/65. 505x385 mm.
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Lilium candidum; (madonna-lilje), KKSgb2947/82. 505x385 mm.
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Fritilliaria imperialis, KKSgb2947/85. 505x385 mm.
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a: Fritillaria meleagris; (almindelig vibeæg); b: Fritillaria aurea eller Fritillaria tubiformis subsp. moggridgei; (almindelig vibeæg); c: Fritillaria montana; fyldt; d: Fritillaria montana, KKSgb2947/97. 505x385 mm.
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Acanthus hungaricus; (ungarsk akantus), KKSgb2948-09. 505x385 mm.
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Jacobaea maritima; (gråblad), KKSgb2948-20. 505x385 mm.
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a: Rosa gallica; (apoteker-rose); b: Rosa ×alba; (hvid rose), fyldt; c: Rosa gallica var. versicolor; (rosa mundi), fyldt; d: Rosa ×centifolia, (centifolie-rose), fyldt, KKSgb2948-24. 505x385 mm.
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Dictamnus albus, KKSgb2948-28. 505x385 mm.
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Rhus typhina; (hjortetaktræ), KKSgb2948-41. 505x385 mm.
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a: Syringa ×persica; (persisk syren); b: Philadelphus coronarius; (vellugtende pibeved); c: Syringa vulgaris; (almindelig syren), KKSgb2948-44. 505x385 mm.
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a: Punica granatum; (granatæble); b: Punica granatum; (granatæble), gennemskåret frugt; c: Punica granatum; (granatæble), frugt, KKSgb2948-59. 505x385 mm.
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a: Asparagus officinalis; (almindelig asparges), unge skud; b: Asparagus officinalis; (almindelig asparges), frugt, KKSgb2948-77. 505x385 mm.
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Ficus carica, KKSgb2948/67. 505x385 mm.
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Updated: 11.jul.2014
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