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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A New Take on Botanical Prints

For those looking to get away from the usual suspects—roses and peonies—take a look at these pretty, simple and less ordinary floral  prints from the works of Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854). As a surgeon and botanist in India, he developed the Calcutta Botanical Garden and a large herbarium collection for which he described many new plant species. However, that was only the start of his life’s work, he went on to become a plant explorer searching for exotic flora and fauna in Nepal, Hindostan, Ava and Lower Burna. He introduced many of his newly found plant specimens to Europe. He published two books centered on his botanical discoveries,  Plantae Asiaticae Rariories and Tentamen Floræ Nepalensis Illustratæ.

Purveyor of rare books and maps, Donald A. Heald says of  Wallich’s published artworks, “… he employed artists including Vishnupersaud (or Vishnu Prasad), who Blunt considered the 'most talented of the native Indian artists'. Maxim Gauci, perhaps the greatest of the early lithographers of botanical subjects, was responsible for translating the drawings onto stone.”

Today, you can buy Wallich inspired lithographs from OldPrintShop.com. Take a look at some of my favorite flora and fauna specimens below. I love how the artists illustrated differing views of the plants in each print. I think I might have gone down the wrong career path  from reading of Wallich's exploits, being a plant explorer sounds quite exciting.

Which prints are your favorite?

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