Exotic examples of birds, mammals, reptiles, shells, fossils and native artefacts sent back to England from expeditions to the New Worlds were the fascination of the 18th-century Enlightenment. Unknown and often bizarre species were being seen by Europeans for the first time, and the recording of such new discoveries became the work of naturalist painter Sarah Stone. These brilliantly coloured and elegantly composed works now serve as both essential scientific documentation and exquisite works of art. Over 300 of these watercolours have now been reunited in the archives of The Natural History Museum in London, a selection of which is published here for the first time as part of the new Art of Nature book series.
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They [the books] arrived in wonderful condition and it was a joy to see how well they were protected.
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