Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1500-1577) was a renowned physician and the leading botanist of his day. His commentary on Dioscorides, first published in Italian in 1544, quickly became the standard authority of descriptive botany for another century. About forty-five editions, in five languages (though not English) appeared before the end of the century. Earlier editions have small illustrations, but later editions, beginning with this version, published in Venice in 1565, contain the large, beautiful woodcuts of Giorgio Liberale and Wolfgang Meyerpeck, the original blocks for which have survived. The actual block used to illustrate chicory is also displayed.