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Joseph Banks' Florilegium

Joseph Banks' Florilegium

Regular price £65.00 £65.00 Sale

This stunningly beautiful book superbly presents Joseph Banks' work and  will appeal to anyone who appreciates art or botany.

From 1769 James Cook's first voyage to the Pacific encountered exotic lands that captured the public imagination.  On board was an ambitious young naturalist by the name of Joseph Banks, with his team of artists and natural scientists. 

Banks collected exotic flora from Madeira, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the Society Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Java, bringing back over 1300 species that had never been seen or studied by Europeans.

On his return, Banks commissioned over 700 superlative engravings between 1772 and 1784. The drawings of these new botanical specimens were for his grand publication. They are some of the most precise and exquisite examples of botanical illustration ever created. 

Botany became an appropriate branch of study for female scientific enthusiasts, but Banks never saw his Florilegium published: it was more than two centuries before it was printed from the 18th-century plates.

In 1990 a complete set of prints in colour was issued in a boxed edition under the direction of the British Museum (Natural History). It is from these prints that the present selection is made, directed by David Mabberley, who has provided expert botanical commentaries, with additional texts by art historian Mel Gooding, setting the works in context as a perfect conjunction of nature, science and art. An afterword by Joseph Studholme describes the history of the modern printing.

Part of our new range created in response to our new Pacific Encounters gallery at the National Maritime Museum.


320 pages

Dimensions: 27.2 x 3.6 x 36.3 cm

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