Ferdinand Bauer is seen by many as the greatest natural history painter of all time. Hand-picked by Joseph Banks, in 1801-05 Bauer accompanied Matthew Flinders during his circumnavigation of Australia, and lived in New South Wales and Norfolk Island. Already celebrated in Europe for the precision and beauty of his paintings, it was during this commission that Bauer perfected the technique of sketching and colour-coding in the field, and then colouring later – painting by numbers. This fascinating new study of Bauer's work includes reproductions of never-before-published works from collections in Europe and Australia. Written by one of the world's foremost botanical scholars, Painting by Numbers reveals Bauer's innovative colour-coding technique for the first time.
David J Mabberley AM is a British-born Australian botanist, educator and writer. He was consecutively Director of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens; Keeper of the Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. He is now an Emeritus Fellow, Wadham College, University of Oxford; Professor Extraordinary, University of Leiden; and Adjunct Professor, Macquarie University, Sydney. Among his varied academic interests are the taxonomy of tropical trees and the history of science. Internationally he is perhaps best known as author of the award-winning Mabberley's Plant-book: A Portable Dictionary of Plants, Their Classification and Uses, now in its fourth edition. This is his twentieth book.