BACKYARD & BEYOND
BOTANICAL ART HAS A LONG PEDIGREE, its characteristics and purposes slowly changing over centuries.
Early herbals contain illustrations of plants primarily intended for medicinal use, though in some the drawings bear little resemblance to the species they purport to be, having been copied from other drawings rather than drawn from life.
As plants followed explorers home from distant lands to become statements of wealth and cultural sophistication, accuracy and beauty became vital characteristics of the paintings commissioned by collectors to document their holdings.
Accurate depiction remains at the core of contemporary botanical art which, in the 20th century, emerged from scientific illustration as a parallel, robust niche of its own, balancing science and art in a variety of styles.