Synopses & Reviews
A unique collection of botanical, zoological, and entomological drawings depicting the natural history of China
This collection is a selection of some of the finest examples of Chinese natural history drawings from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which have never been published before. Commissioned and collected during the early 19th century by John Reeves and his son, and now housed in the Natural History Museum in London, these outstanding images are important not only for their striking beauty but also for their scientific significance. Sent to China in 1812, John Reeves was a tea inspector for the East India Company and a keen amateur naturalist who commissioned hundreds of scientific drawings from local artists, which were then sent to Britain. Despite often being highly stylized, the images helped to further European knowledge of Chinese natural history during a time when access to the country was severely restricted. Through their dedicated and enthusiastic work, Reeves and his son helped pave the way for some of the great explorers and collectors that followed.
About the Author
Judith Magee has managed the art collections of the Library of the Natural History Museum in London for more than 10 years. She is the author of Art of Nature and The Art and Science of William Bartram and has contributed to several other books including The Great Naturalists.