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Set of four original colour aquatints, flowers, by John Robert Thornton. 1799-1807


Tulips. [In set with:] The Superb Lily.. [+] Hyacinths.[+] A Group of Carnations.

€15800  ($17064 / £13430)
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Item Number:  27056 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Prints > Natural History

Set of four original colour aquatints, flowers, by John Robert Thornton.

Engravings: aquatint, stpple and line.
Sheet Size (not including margins): 58 x 44.5cm (22.6 x 17.4 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Excellent.
Condition Rating: A+

From: Temple of Flora. London, 1799-1807.

The Temple of Flora is the third and final part of Robert John Thornton’s New illustration of the sexual system of Carolus von Linnaeus, considered by many to be the greatest of all flower books. It consists of a series of sumptuous depictions of flowers notable for their epic and unusual settings. The first plates were engraved by Thomas Medland in May 1798 from paintings by Philip Reinagle. Between 1798 and 1807 they produced a total of thirty-three coloured plates, engraved in aquatint, stipple and line. Others engravers included Joseph Constantine Stadler working from the painting of Peter Charles Henderson. When he planned the project, Thornton had decided to publish seventy folio-size plates. Lack of interest from the general public spelled disaster for the scheme, and the holding of a lottery could not save it from financial ruin, neither did a page in the work dedicated to the spouse of George III, Queen Charlotte, patroness of botany and the fine arts.

The four plates:

- Tulips. Engraved by Earlom, after Reinagle. 1798.
- The Superb Lily. Engraved by Earlom, after Reinagle. 1799.
- Hyacinths. Engraved by Warner after S. Edwards. 1801.
- A Grpoup of Carnations. Engraved by Caldwall after Henderson. 1803.