Guy de La Brosse
was a French botanist, doctor, and pharmacist. A physician to King Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...
, he is also notable for the creation of a major botanical garden of medicinal herbs
Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, herblore, and phytotherapy...
, which was commissioned by the king. This garden, the Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. It is one of seven departments of the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle. It is situated in the 5ème arrondissement, Paris, on the left bank of the river Seine and covers 28 hectares .- Garden plan :The grounds of the Jardin des...
(originally Jardin du Roi
) was the first botanical garden in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
Guy de La Brosse, doctor to Louis XIII, obtained royal permission on 6 July 1626 to found, in Paris, a herb garden destined to culture plants useful to medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....
to replace those of Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....
created by Henri IV. But this project took some time to come to fruition since the Faculty of Medicine in Paris considered the garden as competition to their activities, because La Brosse wished to teach botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....
This garden, called "Jardin du roi
" (Garden of the King), would not be officially inaugurated until 1640, more than 5 years after its actual creation. To calm the university faculty, the king only authorised one teacher without diploma at the garden, with this choice being left to the garden supervisor.
In 1628 La Brosse published "Dessin du Jardin Royal pour la culture des plantes médicinales
" ("Design of the Royal Garden for the culture of medical plants"). It was published again with five supplementary woodcuts in 1640. It contained the nature, virtue and use of the medical plants, a catalogue of the plants currently being cultivated and a plan of the garden. In 1631 he published "Avis pour le Jardin royal des plantes
" ("Advice for the Royal Garden"). La Brosse had also planned the publication of a "Collection of planters of the Jardin du Roi" accompanied by four hundred copper plates attributed to Abraham Bosse
Abraham Bosse was a French artist, mainly as a printmaker in etching, but also in watercolour.-Life:...
(1602–1676), but his death prevented La Brosse from achieving this. The heirs of Guy de La Brosse sold the copper plates to a boiler-maker for the weight of the metal. Guy-Crescent Fagon (1638–1718), successor to de La Brosse in the post of Supervisor of the Jardin du Roi, could, after much effort, only locate fifty of them. Eventually Sebastien Vaillant
Sébastien Vaillant was a French botanist.Vaillant was born at Vigny, Val d'Oise. He studied medicine at Pontoise, and then moved to Paris to practice as a surgeon, where he studied botany at the Jardin des Plantes under Joseph Pitton de Tournefort.Vaillant was appointed to the staff of the Jardin...
(1669–1722) and Antoine de Jussieu
Antoine de Jussieu was a French naturalist.Jussieu was born in Lyon, the son of Christophe de Jussieu , an apothecary of some repute, who published a Nouveau traité de la theriaque . Antoine studied at the university of Montpellier, and travelled with his brother Bernard through Spain, Portugal...
(1686–1758) supplied a collection of 24 specimens.
The Jardin du Roi is now known as the Jardin des Plantes
(Garden of Plants).
External links Guy de la Brosse's biography and works
digitized by the BIUM (Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de médecine et d'odontologie, Paris)
, see its digital library Medic@