Fritz Leuba

Les Champignons Comestibles et les Especes
avec Lesquelles Ils Pourraient Etre Confondus


Apothecary and artist Fritz Leuba’s monograph on mushrooms was a considerable artistic edition to the relatively new discipline of Mycology, the study of funghi. Although the collecting of mushrooms has been integral to societies since prehistoric times, they were largely considered to be a type of plant that was missing organs and as such did not warrant their own field of study. In 1836 Miles Berkley published his first of many contributions to the science, and indeed gave name to and is considered the father of, Mycology.

When Leuba issued his work, the importance of the medicinal value of mushrooms was becoming better understood as was their toxicity, dual elements which previously had only been known through fanciful tales. These fine chromolithographs illustrate Leuba’s exacting eye for detail and understanding of the vital importance of accuracy to life and death whilst the inky black backgrounds provide drama and contrast that emphasises the converging of Art and Science, and alludes to their dark histories.

Below are a few examples from this collection. Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution with details of the work itself. For the full list of original antique Leuba chromolithographs available,  please do contact us.