Plant: Exploring the Botanical World is the first book to bring together botanical art across all media and throughout history, say Phaidon.
The artworks are arranged in the book in complementary or contrasting pairs to create juxtapositions. A hand-coloured print by Pierre-Joseph Redouté faces a digital 3D digital rendering of a rose by contemporary Japanese artist Macoto Murayama; a 16th century engraving of a dandelion by Elizabeth Blackwell, which appeared in her book of herbal medicines, sits opposite a steel sculpture of a dandelion by artist Paul Morrison; and a sketch by explorer William Dampier, who was the first to illustrate a selection of plants when he landed in Australia in 1699, is paired with a twentieth-century Aboriginal painting of the Bush Banana.
Plant presents the work of botanists and artists, such as a never-before-published sketch by Charles Darwin, the cyanotypes of pioneering botanist Anna Atkins, and the pressed flowers of the American poet Emily Dickinson. In addition, work by Brassaï, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Mapplethorpe, Georgia O’Keeffe and Irving Penn is included alongside that of botanical illustrators Ferdinand Bauer, Arthur Harry Church, Ernst Haeckel, Margaret Mee, Sydney Parkinson, Stella Ross-Craig and Pandora Sellars. The book includes a fascinating chronology of botany from 9500BC to today. An international panel of botanists, horticulturalists and experts selected the 300 entries.