Libri Picturati, Brasilien, Krakau
The Libri Picturati and other Drawings from Brazil. A Key to the Fauna and Flora of the Anciennes Indes
During his Time as Governor in Dutch Brazil, Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen had the scientists and painters who were accompanying him compile an extensive collection of data and paintings, in order to give the Europeans an impression of this wonderful country once he returned home. Several books and paintings were created on the basis of these records and sketches, and Albert Eckhout also referred th them for the cartoons from which the Tenture des Indes tapestries were to be woven. Johan Maurits later left the studies to the Great Elector, Frederick William, in 1652; today they are located in Cracow's Jagiellonian LIbrary, bound as Libri Picturati A 32- A 38.
A substantial part of the motifs in the tapestries stems from this collection of studies in Brazil. Determining the animals on the individual tapestries is principally based on the 762 drawings and sketches of the Libri Picturati. In addition, Katharina Schmidt-Loske used an early copy of the Libri Picturati for her research by way of comparison, the Petersburger Wasserfarbzeichnungen aus dem Siebzehnten Jahrhundert von Brasilianischen Tieren ("17th-Century Water-Colour Drawings of Brazilian Animals, from St. Petersburg"). Further Wagener's Thier Buch and Jacob Wilhelm Griebe's Naturalien-Buch in fünff Theilen, as well as paintings attributed to Albert Eckhout, in particular the bird depictions on the ceiling of the main hall at Hoflößnitz Castle.