Plant Exploring The Botanical World Phaidon Editors, C 2016
My Christmas gift to myself is this glorious compilation of botanical art, all 350 pages of brilliant renderings of the plants of the world. I judged this book by its cover, it was so beautiful I wanted it for the art piece alone. The idea to pull together the oldest of illustrations of plant life to the newest technology renderings from artists, photographers, illustrators and scientists all in one volume was bold. The enormity of the work to select and arrange these is inspiring.
The introduction by Dr. James Compton, Botanist and plant collector, narrates the world wide historical contribution of botanical artistry which benefits all of us today.
Paging on into the heart of the book I find a detailed illustration of a tree stump and its roots alongside a digital light micrograph of a pine branch. The placement of a gauche watercolor of a lily with an X-ray rendition of same is a mind expanding visual experience. This feast for the eyes would be enough but the details of what you are seeing is accompanied by a fascinating and relatable description. Each artist is identified (except for the anonymous works) describing their contribution to the knowledge of plants we all benefit from today.
Just when I thought it couldn’t be more wonderful I come to the 10 page, 4 column botanical art timeline. Here I walk through the horticultural history documenting the knowledge of plants. I love this book, I have always loved botanical art and now with this in my hands I have the world’s best.
You can view a collection of the images on this link