Synopses & Reviews
The seventeenth century heralded a golden age of exploration, as intrepid travelers sailed around the world to gain firsthand knowledge of previously unknown continents. These explorers also collected the worldandrsquo;s most beautiful flora, and often their findings were recorded for posterity by talented professional artists. The Golden Age of Botanical Art
tells the story of these exciting plant-hunting journeys and marries it with full-color reproductions of the stunning artwork they produced. Covering work through the nineteenth century, this lavishly illustrated book offers readers a look at 250 rare or unpublished images by some of the worldandrsquo;s most important botanical artists.and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Truly global in its scope, The Golden Age of Botanical Art
features work by artists from Europe, China, and India, recording plants from places as disparate as Africa and South America. Martyn Rix has compiled the stories and art not only of well-known figuresandmdash;such as Leonardo da Vinci and the artists of Empress Josephine Bonaparteandmdash;but also of those adventurous botanists and painters whose and#160;names and work have been forgotten. A celebration of both extraordinarily beautiful plant life and the globe-trotting men and women who found and recorded it, The Golden Age of Botanical Art
will enchant gardeners and art lovers alike.and#160;
and#8220;This is a superior article. The botanist author has selected numerous rare or unpublished flower painting from Kewand#8217;s own collection, while the text is a jog through the history of botanical art, with an emphasis on plant collecting. . . . This has to be the prize garden gift book of the year.and#8221;and#160;
and#8220;Not just a collection of beautiful paintings from ancient frescoes to the present day, but also a series of fascinating essays about plant hunters and the artists who recorded their discoveries. The paintings, most of them from the collection at Kew, many never reproduced before, are invariably wonderful.and#8221;and#160;
"A wonderful history book . . . sure to be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in natural history art."
"A celebration of both extraordinarily beautiful plant life and the globe-trotting men and women who found and recorded it, The Golden Age of Botanical Art will enchant gardeners and art lovers alike."
and#8220;Remarkable Plants is readable and engaging. There is much discussion of species beyond 'the usual suspects' which appear in books on plants aimed at the general reader. A fantastic range of visual material.and#8221;
"Rixand#8217;s superb book is extremely handsome. It is a mine of concise observation, resting on his rare expertise."
"A gloriously illustrated celebration of the history, utility, diversity, and sheer wonder of the botanical world that powers our planet."
This overview of the botanical world takes the usefulness of plants to humans as its starting point. Key plantsandmdash;10 or so in each categoryandmdash;are divided into medicines, materials, foods and flavours, with brief and elegant essays devoted to topics such as olives, asparagus, hops, aloe, flax, bamboo and wheat.
andldquo;Remarkable Plants That Shape Our World is a quietly lavish book that gathers together the history of human use of a wide array of plants world-wide. The book is divided into sections, treating plants used as major food crops, spices, drugs, building materials, cash crops, ornamentals, sacred plants and, in a fun final flourish, curiosities. . . . A candy box for the curious.andquot;
andquot;This very handsome book provides interesting, particularly historical, information about plants of use and interest to a wide readership.
andquot;Itandrsquo;s readable, interestingand full of colorful factsandmdash;botanical, medical, historical, culinaryandmdash;that keep the reader turning the pages. The writing is in a loose, scholarly style that feels open and accessible to a general readership. This is the kind of book you want to read and then give to your friends and family to read.andquot;
Imagine a typical morning--munching on a bowl of cereal, sipping coffee, dressing for the day, riding to work. Every moment of this common routine draws on the power of plants, and the centuries of development that brought wheat, coffee beans, cotton, and rubber--among many others--into our daily lives.
Remarkable Plants celebrates the wonder and utility of the green kingdom, taking a detailed look at how plants have shaped our world. It focuses on eighty key species and richly explores their history, highlighting their importance and bringing to light surprising stories. Organized thematically into eight sections, the book starts with and#147;Transformersand#8221; (including rice, beans, olives) and moves through sections such as and#147;Heal and Harmand#8221; (poppy, aloe, strychnos) and and#147;Revered and Adoredand#8221; (lotus, frankincense, rose). Each species is introduced with its common and scientific names and followed by an exploration of its cultural, historical, botanical, and symbolic associations. Hundreds of botanical illustrations show full plants as well as highlight distinctive leaves, blooms, and fruits.
Rooted in one of the worldand#8217;s most important and renowned temples of greenery, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Remarkable Plants is a symbiotic balance of science and art that will open readersand#8217; eyes to the deep influence of the natural world on our modern one.
About the Author
Martyn Rix is editor of Curtis's Botanical Magazine and author or editor of numerous books, including The Golden Age of Botanical Art, The Genus Lachenalia, and Subtropical and Dry Climate Plants: The Definitive Practical Guide.
Table of Contents
1 The Origins of Botanical Art
Leonardo da Vinci
2 Early Works of the Sixteenth Century
3 Seventeenth-Century Florilegia
Dutch Flower Paintings
4 North American Plants
Linnaeus and Plant Classification
5 Travellers to the Levant
Maria Sybilla Merian
6 The Exploration of Russia and Japan
Les Vandeacute;lins du Musandeacute;um
7 Botany Bay and Beyond
Sir Joseph Banks
8 The Golden Age in England
Mrs. Delany and her Paper Mosaicks
9 South American Adventures
Thorntonandrsquo;s The Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature
10 The Golden Age in France
11 Botanical and Horticultural Illustrated Journals
Henry C. Andrews
12 Early Chinese Plant Drawings
Pandegrave;re David and the French Missionaries
13 The Company School in India
The Story of Flora Danica 1761-1883
14 A New Era at Kew
15 Victorian Travellers
Elwes and the Genus Lilium
16 Bringing China to Europe
17 The Flowers of War and Beyond
Exhibiting Botanical Watercolours
18 Carrying on the Tradition