Article - Vanilla and Bees

Cover Page: Melissographia, Francesco Stelluti, 1625

Melissographia, Francesco Stelluti, 1625 - Vatican Museum

Francesco Stelluti (1577-1652) was a member of the Accademia dei Lincei and a close friend of Prince Cesi, its founder. This engraving, which records Stelluti's microscopic observations of insects, combines the earliest illustration of a subject seen through the microscope with a Latin poem complimenting Pope Urban VIII. The illustration includes bees, which were the heraldic emblem of the Barberini family, to which the pope belonged. The engraving was presented to the pope.

From the Vatican Library - Vat. lat. 9685 fol. 117 recto nature06 NAN.22