The W. Graham Arader, III Collection at the University of South Carolina
Posted November 24th, 2013
Joan Blaeu (23 September 1596 – 28 May 1673) was a Dutch cartographer born in Alkmaar, the son of cartographer Willem Blaeu.
In 1620 he became a doctor of law but he joined the work of his father. In 1635 they published the Atlas Novus (full title: Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive, Atlas novus) in two volumes. Joan and his brother Cornelius took over the studio after their father died in 1638. Joan became the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company.
Posted September 16th, 2013
Jean-Theodore Descourtilz (1796 – 1855) was a French naturalist, painter and illustrator, the son of botanist Michel Étienne Descourtilz (1775-1835). Descourtilz was a noted ornithological artist who published Oiseaux brillans du Bresil in Paris in 1834, and did the plant illustrations for his father's Flore Medicale des Antilles published between 1821 and 1829.
Posted September 11th, 2013
Leonhart Fuchs (1501 – 10 May 1566), was a German physician and botanist. He is chiefly known as the author of an herbal (a book about plants and their medicinal uses), De historia stripium commentary insigne (Basel, 1542). It contains 511 hand-colored woodcuts accurately depicting plants Fuchs drew from life. Fuch's Herbal proved and emphasized the importance of high-quality drawings as the most telling way to specify what a plant name stands for. The Herbal was reprinted 39 times and translated into German, French, Spanish, and Dutch. The botanical genus Fuchsia is named in his honor.
Posted August 24th, 2013
Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1750-1840) was a botanist, botanical illustrator, and painter known for his watercolors, of roses, lilies and other flowers. He was known as the "The Raphael of flowers."
Redouté was the official court artist of Queen Marie Antoinette, and he continued painting through the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. He survived the turbulent political upheaval to enjoy the patronage of the Empress Josephine. He later became her official artist and painted the roses in her collection at Malmaison.
He gained international recognition for his precise renderings of plants, which remain as fresh in the early 21st century as when first panted. Over the course of his career he published over 2,100 plates depicting over 1,800 different species, many of which had never been rendered before.
Posted August 22nd, 2013
Elizabeth Blachrie Blackwell (1707-1758), the botanical author and artist, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. At 28, she married Alexander Blackwell, who started a printing business with her dowry. The business failed and Alexander Blackwell went to debtors’ prison in 1734. Elizabeth Blackwell used her talents as an artist to produce realistic images of medicinal plants with the intention of publishing her work as a reference work for apothecaries in order to secure his release from debtors’ prison. She drew from the plants in the Chelsea Physic Garden, which included, plants from the Americas, and then did the copperplate engravings herself, with Alexander Blackwell’s text. Her book, A Curious Herbal (1737-1739), includes 500 plates, and is among the earliest publications on botany by a woman.