Botanical Studies 1860

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This collection of botanical works by a single hand dates from 1860. Each plant study is inscribed below with its Latin name. These studies, generally several per sheet, although technical in their plant classification, have a charming informal quality. Plants featured include St John's Wort, Blackberry, Aquilegia, Sea Lavender.

Botanical illustration dates from as far back as four thousand years ago, when the agricultural civilisations of Mesopotamia and Egypt produced plant drawings. The practice continued in ancient Greece in connection with herbal medicine. It was only in the 18th and 19th centuries, however, that botanical illustration became an art in its own right, playing an important role in world exploration. European travellers were returning from afar with plant and seed samples, which were cultivated in landowners’ gardens. Botanical artists were often commissioned to catalogue their collections, and botanical classification was becoming an increasingly sophisticated science.