By: Kärin Nickelsen
295 pages, illus
This book is the first in-depth study of eighteenth-century botanical illustrations, and its findings offer a completely new insight into the working practices of the botanists and scientific draughtsmen of this period. The author describes the different production stages of these illustrations, traces their uses by means of the private correspondence of participants and the documentation of the learned societies and academies, and explores their visual language, with particular emphasis placed on the difficult issue of colour.
Finally, and for the first time, the author presents a convincing description of how these botanical illustrations developed, ascertaining the criteria that drove this process, which was arrived at through a careful study of the many copying links that the author discovered existed between images of the same species -- a sophisticated strategy that fulfilled the exacting requirements of eighteenth-century scientific botanical illustrations.
From the reviews: "It is the first thorough study of eighteenth century botanical illustrations. ! The book is richly illustrated with well chosen pictures, facilitating the discussion. In all, this is a book that can be warmly recommended to all interested in the history of botany as well as in the pictorial world of Linnaeus' times." (Gunilla Tornvall, Svenska Linnesallscapets Arsskrift, 2008)
Acknowledgments.- Introduction. 1. The Making of Botanical Illustrations. 2. The Content of Botanical Illustrations. 3. The Role of Botanical Illustrations. 4. Visual Language. 5. Links with Tradition: The Construction of Botanical Illustrations.- Appendix I: Methods and Materials. Appendix II: List of References of the Picture Selection.
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