Ferdinand Bauer (1760-1821) is generally recognised as the finest late 18th / early 19th century botanical artist.
He was appointed Natural History Draughtsman, on the recommendation of Sir Joseph Banks, to Captain Mathew Flinder’s circumnavigation of Australia in HMS Investigator (1801-1803).
As an obsessive perfectionist, he engraved his own plates from his own watercolours and then printed, coloured and published his own work.
This collection is extraordinary not only because the quality of the plates is unsurpassed, but also because no further impressions have been taken between the original publication (with 23 subscribers) and this current edition, which is limited to 35 numbered portfolios.
A separate limited edition of 50 complete sets of 46 watercolour drawings of animals, also from the Flinder’s voyage, have been hand-printed, one-at-a-time, by the stochastic process.
“…nature is revealed, art concealed, great in its precision, gentle in its execution, decisive and satisfying in its appearance”.
Johanne Wolfgang von Goethe, 1817
Images © Alecto Historical Editions.