Dr. Robert John Thornton

Artist's Biography

The Aloe.

Aquatint and line engraving, 1799-1807.
Image size 17 1/4 x 14 1/8" (43.8 x 35.8 cm) .
Good condition, save a minor mat burn. Original color.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 95812
Price: $4,000.00
Publisher : Published by Dr. Robert John Thornton, London.
Printed in color and finished by hand. Plate XII from "The Temple of Flora; or Garden of Nature. " Second state of two. Engraved by Medland after the painting by Reinagle.

Dr. Robert Thornton was employed at Guy's Hospital in London as a lecturer on medical botany. He produced and published "The Temple of Flora or New Illustrations of the Sexual System of Linnaeus" - a grand and unique work. The collection of 31 plates is the first to depict a plant life size and in its 'natural habitat' (landscape).

Thornton accrued fine artists (Reinagle, Pether, Henderson & Sydenham Edwards), and engravers (Ward, Earlom, Dunkarton, Stadler & Sutherland) to create this tribute. These prints "…were engraved on a larger scale than anything which had hitherto appeared and then were basically printed in colour, and expensive and uncommon method in England at this time." – Dunthorne. The project was not completed because of the war - as seventy plates were first intended. A touching and insightful apology accounting for the shortened subscription is printed in "Flower and Fruit Prints..." by Gordon Dunthorne.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Natural History - Botanicals , Dr. Robert John Thornton