Some two centuries have passed since the publication of Robert John Thornton’s The Temple of Flora, but its astonishing ambition and aesthetic charm remain unsullied. The large-format plates with their stunning floral portraits number among the most supreme and interesting artistic achievements in botany, a unique combination of monumental, exotic flora and romantic background landscapes.
Surviving complete editions are rare treasures of only a few libraries while the individual plates have become sought-after and extremely expensive collectors’ items. Now, TASCHEN presents this complete botanical masterwork as loose-leaf color prints, perfect for browsing or framing. Based on one of the finest complete original copies, belonging to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St.Louis, the plates are luminous in their detail and vibrancy. An accompanying booklet authored by Werner Dressendörfer provides botanical and cultural explanations for the individual illustrations, as well as the history of the work and its author.