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The 17th and 18th centuries saw a 'flowering' of botanical illustration and witnessed the production of some of the greatest books of plant illustration ever produced, including such outstanding examples as the Hortus Eystettensis, the work of Maria Sybilla Merian, Thornton's Temple of Flora, Banks's Florilegium and Sibthorpe's Flora Graeca. During this period several developments took place that led to a significant increase in the popularity and output of botanical illustration. The first was the development of the process of engraving on metal in the 1600s, which revolutionised illustration. The second was the development of the new Linnaean system which was helped, in part, by the high quality of illustrations produced at the time. The third significant development was the epic voyages of discovery which recorded and collected the exotic plants encountered in remote uncharted lands.
In this lavishly illustrated new book, Celia Fisher has selected over 100 of the most beautiful flower images from this period. The flowers are arranged in alphabetical order, and the text that accompanies them outlines their origin, the derivation of their name and the properties for which they were most valued. The Golden Age of Flowers will appeal to anyone with an interest in botanical history and illustration, and flowers and gardening.
Celia Fisher is a renowned expert on flowers and fruit in art and books. She is the author of Flowers and Fruit (1998), Still Life Paintings (2000), Flowers in Medieval Manuscripts (2004), The Medieval Flower Book (2007) and The Magic of Birds (2014).