It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Those who Loved, Collected and Recorded Plants ~

Celia Fisher describes in her recent publication The Golden Age of Flowers  the fascinating story of flowers and botanical illustration during the 17th and 18th centuries (The Age of Discoveries). In the detailed introduction she elucidates the complex historical development of the plant documentation from the process of revolutionary engraving method on metal in the 1600s to the epic voyages of discovery. The botanists and plant-hunters from Clusius and John Parkinson in the late 16th and early 17th century to Ehret and Redoute in the late 18th century are analyzed chronologically in a short but inclusive style.
To exemplify the development Celia Fisher has included 120 beautiful illustrations which are alphabetically arranged by the plants generic Latin name. Each of the plants has its own short interesting biography which illuminates the complementing connection between art and science. A large number of Mark Catesby’s, Ehret’s and Bauer brother’s works are included as well as works from more seldom presented plant hunters and illustrators like Hardwicke, de Ruyter and Sowerby.  
This book touches all aspects from biography to geography and is warmly recommended especially for everybody who is interested in the history of botanical illustration.
The Golden Age of Flowers has 144 pages and is published by the British Library.   
Celia Fisher is an art historian and plantswoman. Having researched economic botany at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, she gained a Doctorate at the Courtauld Institute, University of London, on flowers in manuscript borders. She specializes in garden history , identifying plants in art and discovering their history and meanings. 
    (Christoph Jacob Trew and Georg Ehret, Plantae Selectae, Nuremberg, 1750-90. 460.g.15, f.62)

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