Art meets science in this beautiful book that aims to give readers a sense of some contemporary scientific discoveries that are changing our understanding of plant relationships.
136 botanical paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection, by 84 artists, cover 50 orders of plants in 118 families, and a total of 133 species, providing a sweeping overview of the evolution of plants on earth. The paintings display a sampling of the plant world from fungi to daisies, including algae, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants arranged in the most up to date evolutionary sequence, determined by recent DNA analysis.
The text places each artists observations as displayed in the paintings, in the context of modern plant classification, providing readers with a new understanding of the complex interrelationships between plant species, and enhancing their appreciation of the botanical artists ability to portray the delicate beauty of nature.
This publication is based on an exhibition in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art
at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, running from August to December 2009, to celebrate Kew's 250th anniversary and Darwin's bicentenary.