chapter  7
20 Pages

Viridarium Orientale of Matthew of St. Joseph

WithJ. Heniger

The Viridarium Orientale has never been published as a separate work. Moreover, the manuscripts do not even appear to have survived in their entirety. In short, although Hendrik Adriaan Van Reede fully recognized that he owed the first draft of Hortus Malabaricus to Matthew of St. Joseph, he was also aware of the insufficiency of the drawings and descriptions produced by the Carmelite. While Zanoni and Monti give some idea of Matthew's drawings and descriptions, the Paris codex, based upon Coelestinus' collection, is still more interesting. This codex is accommodated in the library of the Musee d'Histoire Naturelle, MS 1764, in Paris. The Paris codex consists of two parts. Part 1 contains, in 57 folios, Jacques Barrelier's copy of Coelestinus' version of Viridarium with 232 chapters of plant descriptions referring to 256 figures, and 6 folios with an index to this, followed by 30 folios with Barrelier's own preparatory notes. Part 2 contains 111 folios with 211 reduced drawings.