Group of Carnations.
These botanical illustrations are unique as they were the first flower prints with landscape backgrounds, depicting the natural habitat of the plant. The life-size flowers stand out dramatically and the whole effect is startlingly modern. Thornton's announced intention was to make this work the most magnificent tribute ever paid to the famous Swedish botanist Linnaeus by illustrating his Sexual System with the finest possible prints. All these were engraved on a larger scale than anything which had hitherto appeared and then were printed in colour, an expensive and uncommon method in England at this time. A brilliant effect.
First state, aquatint and mezzotint, printed in colour and finished by hand, heightened with gum arabic, from The Temple of Flora. Framed and glazed, overall dimensions: 52 by 64 cm.
Nissen Blunt, p236-242; Dunthorne, Alan Thomas, Great Books and Book Collectors, page 144.
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