Botanical Illustration

A burgeoning interest in botany resulted in a growing market for botanical works and created demand for accurate and attractive botanical illustration. Illustrations were an essential component of the scientific description of plant specimens, especially of exotic species difficult to cultivate or otherwise preserve, and natural history illustrators or draftsmen became key members of collecting expeditions. Moreover publishers were keen to include attractive illustrations in printed works to increase their appeal with popular audiences and make their content accessible beyond linguistic constraints. Periodical editors quickly adopted this technique to draw subscribers, and illustrators were proudly acknowledged alongside authors on title pages of all types of printed works. In addition to the skill of the illustrator, the quality of an illustration in a printed book ultimately depended on having a skilled engraver. Because of its scientific application, botanical illustration and engraving demanded a precision capable of capturing the peculiarities that distinguished one species from the next. Thus, engravers were often required to have a first-hand knowledge of the plants species that they were presenting. Therefore, the production of botanical illustrations and their translation to printed works created a marketplace for this interdisciplinary skill and often constructed long-term professional and personal relationships between illustrators, engravers, and naturalists.

Displaying 1-3 of 3 images
records per page