EUROPEAN SCHOOL [ANONYMOUS], Florilegium: Wild Flowers of the Pyrenees; Wild Flowers of the Alps; Wild Flowers of Switzerland.
Florilegium: Wild Flowers of the Pyrenees; Wild Flowers of the Alps; Wild Flowers of Switzerland.
[S.l: third quarter of the 19th century.] 3 volumes, 8° (10 3/8 x 7 1/8 in).
157 botanical drawings on 185 leaves of heavy paper stock of various colors, on rectos only, in pencil, watercolor and bodycolor, a few heightened with gum Arabic, foliated in manuscript in the upper right hand corner, the majority captioned with Linnaean binomials or vernacular names, some with the day and/or month and location in the upper left hand corner. A specimen of dried edelweiss mounted on leaf 56 of Wild Flowers of the Alps.
Uniformly bound in original dark green roan gilt, boards with gilt-ruled borders, titled in gilt on the upper board, spine gilt in compartments, gilt edges.
A set of three albums of fine botanical drawings of European Mountain Flora. In the nineteenth century, the aristocratic interest in flowers developed into a widespread vogue across the upper and middle classes. This interest was reinforced by the birth of the Romantic movement, which promoted an emotional response to the natural world, and the continuous advances in the science of botany. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the exploration and study of the European mountains -- particularly the Alps -- opened up new fields of interest, scientific as well as artistic, which manifested themselves as a fascination with the mountain landscape, fauna and flora. Characteristic of this was a great enthusiasm for Alpine and Pyrenean resorts, made accessible by the extended railway networks, particularly in the second half of the nineteenth century. This set of botanical albums containing 157 finely executed drawings of wildflowers of Switzerland, the Alps and the Pyrenees by a skilled amateur artist is very typical of the period and its interest in wild mountain flora. A wide range of species are depicted with scientific precision and are captioned with the Linnaean binomial names.
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