|Positive ||bluespiral ||On Aug 15, 2004, bluespiral wrote:
During the last part of the 18th century through the early part of the 19th, Dr. Robert J. Thornton put together what is said to have been the most beautiful work of botanical art, ever: Temple of Flora. It includes 31 plates, each of a flower set in its own habitat, executed by teams of artists in the classical style. The text is typical of its time, and we might now call it a bit "slurpy"; but if you can get past the florid Victorian prose (which could be approached as a kind of time machine), the beauty is awesome. I have sprinkled a reference to one plate in this tome - The Night Blowing Cereus - throughout some of the forums, and if you get a chance to view this nocturnal cactus flower, hanging over a river in the moonlight while a castle rises above it on a wooded bank, I hope you will see what I mean. This book is free to view and download as an open-domain, online electronic book at the the 1st website given below.
Also, many of these plates are available to download on the 2nd website given below, and the reason I mention this one is that some of the images either have no - or minimal - border. Without a border, an image "set as background" on the monitor screen seems more of a self-contained universe all its own.
To look up definitions and history of the mythic beings to which the text alludes, the 3rd website might also be useful.
1) Type in the search bar
Click on "E-Books"
Under "Resources by Subject," click on "Arts and Humanities"
Click on "Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture"
Click on "Electronic Facsimiles"
Under "Browse Texts," scroll to: "Thornton, Robert John / Temple of Flora...(1812) and then click "Browse."
2) Type in the search bar.
Click on "Prints and Drawings."
Under "Botany," click on "Thornton.
Then click on "Details" beneath thumbnail image.
Click on Volume I
scroll down to "Things to Do" and click on "Search"
Type what you would like to define in the Search box