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The Beauty of the Flower

The Art and Science of Botanical Illustration

Blooming with rare archival images, the story of scientific botanical illustrations over nearly seven hundred years.
In a world flooded with images designed to create memories, validate perceptions, and influence others, botanical illustration is about something much more focused: creating technically accurate depictions of plants. Reproductions of centuries-old botanical illustrations frequently adorn greeting cards, pottery, and advertising, to promote heritage or generate income, yet their art is scientific: intended to record, display, and transmit scientific data. The Beauty of the Flower tells the backstory of these images, showing us how scientific botanical illustrations are collaborations among artists, scientists, and publishers. It explores the evolution and interchanges of these illustrations since the mid-fifteenth century, how they have been used to communicate scientific ideas about plants, and how views of botanical imagery change. Featuring unique images rarely seen outside of specialist literature, this book reveals the fascinating stories behind these remarkable illustrations.

320 pages | 80 color plates, 64 halftones | 7 1/2 x 9 3/4

Art: European Art

Biological Sciences: Botany

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Plant and Page
Chapter 2: Themes and Trends
Chapter 3: Science and Illustration
Chapter 4: Blood and Treasure
Chapter 5: Garden and Grove
Chapter 6: Inside and Out
Chapter 7: Habit and Habitat
Chapter 8: Observe and Test
Chapter 9: Sweat and Tears

Appendix: Plant Names
Further Reading
Photo Acknowledgements

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