Botanical artists are a breed apart. They itch to record that which exists in the natural world.

Botanical Sketchbooks (Princeton Architectural Press) by Helen and William Bynum captures both the art and the sentiment that have driven it through the ages quite perfectly:


If the ephemeral beauty of plants, the sheen of a petal, a detail of dusty pollen or tilt of a leaf lent themselves to sketching, so too did the enduring and rugged form of root and branch or the texture of bark. Some hoped to find fame by their art, or at least make a living. Others were scientists, travelers and plant collectors who needed an aide-mémoire. Sketching is also about pleasure; there need be no other impetus.


People who love books. People who love plants. People who love history. All of these and still others will enjoy this beautifully conceived and produced book which includes the work of more than 80 artists, including Carl Linnaeus, Leonardo da Vinci and Maria Sibylla Merian. A beautiful and important book.

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