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Night blooming cactus flower with white and orange petals, green stem, on cover of 'The Art of Botanical Illustration' by ACC Art Books and RBG Kew.

The Art of Botanical Illustration

By (author) Wilfrid Blunt
By (author) William T. Stearn


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  • A comprehensive and accessible historical and artistic survey of botanical illustration  
  • Perhaps the most important book on botanical painting ever published
  • With a new introduction by Martyn Rix, editor of Curtis's Botanical Magazine at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Full Description
This major work, first published in 1950, is still considered the classic book on the subject. It provides a comprehensive, critical and well-illustrated survey of the portrayal of plants across over three thousand years, at a more compact size. Of the first edition, the poet and gardening writer, Vita Sackville-West said: “Let no one think this is a book only for the specialist. It is essential for the specialist, certainly, but it is also for all the flower-lovers and all those who enjoy the by-ways of biography and the added attraction of good writing”.

This edition contains 126 colour plates (more than twice as many as the first edition), alongside 140 black-and-white illustrations. It invites the reader to appreciate the works of the greatest botanical illustrators both past and present.

About the Author
Wilfrid Blunt (1901-87) was an art master at Haileybury College and at Eton College, Windsor. On his retirement in 1959 he became Curator of the Watts Gallery, near Guildford, Surrey. Here Blunt devoted most of his time to writing and travel and published some 25 books. An artist himself, Blunt brought to Botanical Illustration a craftsman's appreciation, as well as knowledge gained from experience, his extensive reading and visits to many galleries on the Continent.

William Stearn (1911-2001) had a lifelong interest in botanical illustration. His numerous publications included Botanical Latin, Australian Flower Paintings of Ferdinand Bauer, Merian in Surinam, Plant Portraits from the Flora Danica, Flower Artists of Kew and The Orchid Paintings of Franz Bauer. He provided assistance on botanical, biographical and bibliographical matters in Botanical Illustration, and contributed part of the text.
Look Inside
ACC Art Books
21st May 2021
270 mm x 215 mm
360 Pages
123 color, 148 b&w
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