Great Flower Books 1700-1900
My final Christmas present turned up today - Great Flower Books 1700-1900 came complete with its customs declaration as it came from the USA.
It's a comprehensive Bibliographical Record of two Centuries of finely-illustrated Flower Books by Sacheverell Sitwell & Wilfrid Blunt. It's the sort of book which will keep me occupied with more research of botanical art for YEARS! I'm guessing it's only other serious researchers who will appreciate why it gives me so much pleasure!
I didn't know until just recently that there are two versions of the book.
The first edition was published by Collins in London in 1956.
The second edition was published by Atlantic Monthly Press in New York in 1990.
The bonus of the second one is that they very much improved the quality of the images included in the publication. However almost all copies are located in the USA - hence the need to import.
'Great Flower Books' is very much a collaborative endeavour with essays by
The Title and Contents pages identify who did what in this collaborative endeavour with
I'll be consulting and reading it with some reverence for those who put the book together.
I have in fact got to the point with book-buying now where almost everything I buy is second hand -
In fact, the first thing I do when I get a 'new' book is to go straight to its bibliography to see what books it lists as resources - so as to see if I can find any new ones I've not read!
So the notion of buying a book, the bulk of which is essentially a bibliography does not strike me as too strange!
I've come across all sorts of small joys by studying the bibliographies in books and academic journals
So Many Sweet Flowers
One of them is one of my other Christmas presents. (as in persuade relatives to give me money then I sit down on Christmas Day and start placing orders!)
So Many Sweet Flowers is a book about the paintings created by Johann Walther for a seventeenth century florilegium of a dream garden - the Horti Itzteinensis (c.1654) created by his patron Count Johann of Nassau Idstein after the devastation of the 30 years war in Europe and his own exile to Strasbourg. His stay there presumably explains why he commissioned Johann Walther to create the paintings for the florilegium - as Walther is a native of Strasbourg.
It's a delightful book - with all the paintings arranged in seasons with many in clusters. as if growing in a flower bed. Even better it can be had for not very much at all. I very much like the style of his painting and the quality of his work is very fine. I'm now planning an expedition to go and see the work in person!
You can read more about books about botanical art history on various pages in the History section of my website - but particularly in The Best Books about Botanical Art History, Artists & Illustrators. These two will be making an appearance on those pages in the near future.
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