Joseph Banks’ Florilegium is a collection of botanical engravings, possibly the best ever, from which selected prints are now published in a book of the same name, with expert commentaries and additional texts.
Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his first voyage around the world from 1768 to 1771. A gifted and wealthy young naturalist, Banks collected exotic flora from Madeira, Brazil, Tierra del Fuego, the Society Islands, New Zealand, Australia and Java, taking home over 1,300 species that had never been seen or studied by Europeans. On his return to England, Banks commissioned over 700 engravings between 1772 and 1784. Known collectively as Banks’ Florilegium, they are some of the most precise and exquisite examples of botanical illustration ever created.
The Florilegium was never printed in Banks’ lifetime, and it was not until 1990 that a complete set in colour was issued in a boxed edition (limited to 100 copies) under the direction of the British Museum. It is from these prints that the present selection is made for inclusion in Joseph Banks’ Florilegium, directed by David Mabberley, who has provided expert botanical commentaries, with additional texts, setting the works in context as a perfect conjunction of nature, science and art.
The AUD $120 price tag reflects the time and toil put into its production and the quality of the content, with 175 colour illustrations over 320 pages with hardcover.
Published by Thames & Hudson
ISBN 978 0 500 519363