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Drawing from the Kew and Shirley Sherwood collections, Treasures of Botanical Art reveals the history of botanical painting, a genre devoted to beauty and science in equal measure. With its origins in fifteenth-century illustrations used to explain the medicinal and culinary uses of plants, botanical art has become an integral and captivating component of botanical science. To fully illuminate this history, Treasures of Botanical Art presents more than two hundred stunning botanical paintings dating back to the fifteenth century. Paintings featured from the Kew collection include works by well-known artists the Bauer brothers, Redouté, Ehret, Fitch, Lilian Snelling and Margaret Mee as well as many lesser known artists. Contemporary works featured from the Sherwood collection by a host of international artists round out this impressive history.
Informative text on the origins, history, and relevance of botanical art, as well as information on the plants themselves, accompanies these stunning images. Biographies of more than 120 artists are provided at the end of Treasures of Botanical Art, revealing the historical and international background of this genre.
Dr Shirley Sherwood travels extensively and has been collecting contemporary botanical drawings since 1990. Her comprehensive collection includes work by artists living in thirty different countries and documents the emergence of a new wave of botanical painters and the renaissance of their art form and is arguably the most important private collection of twentieth century botanical art in the world.
Martyn Rix has worked for the Royal Horticultural Society and has co-authored many books on horticulture with Roger Phillips. He is editor of Curtis's Botanical Magazine published by Kew, the longest continuously running botanical periodical in the world founded in 1787, which places special emphasis on botanical illustration. Martyn has travelled widely around the world collecting and photographing plants, and designing and planting gardens. In 2002 he was awarded the Gold Veitch Memorial Media for services to Horticulture.
"Two of the best botanical minds come together in this beautifully illustrated book [...] the illustrations, from the Kew Collection, are breath-taking and the text wonderfully informative."
– Oxford Times
"This book is a tribute both to Shirley Sherwood and to Kew, and should be bought by everyone with an interest in botanical illustration."
– Curtis's Botanical Magazine