TREASURES OF BOTANICAL PAINTING: The Kew Diamond Jubilee Collection

Celebrating the 60-year Reign
of Her Majesty The Queen

The Kew Diamond Jubilee Collection

Only available at www.florilegia.info

TREASURES OF BOTANICAL PAINTING:
The Kew Diamond Jubilee Collection

Celebrating the 60-year Reign of Her Majesty The Queen

Click to view the next painting A set of fine art prints to commemorate each decade of Her Majesty's reign, specially selected from the works of seven pioneering master botanical painters in the collections of the renowned Library of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Strelitzia depicta, Franz (Francis) Bauer, 1818
9th Anniversary; Strelitzia depicta, hand-coloured lithograph on paper, Franz (Francis) Bauer, 1818
9th Anniversary; Strelitzia depicta, hand-coloured lithograph on paper, Franz (Francis) Bauer, 1818
Born Franz Andreas Bauer (later Francis) Feldsberg, Austria, now Valtice in the Czech Republic, 4 October 1758, died 11 December 1840, Kew, England

Franz Bauer's father was court painter to the Prince of Liechtenstein, and after early artistic training and encouragement from his mother, and later Dr Norbert Boccius, the abbot of Feldsberg, he illustrated plants for Nikolaus Joseph von Jaquin (1727-1817), director of the Schönbrunn Imperial Gardens and professor of botany and director of the botanic garden of the University of Vienna. In 1788 he accompanied Nikolaus' son, Baron Joseph von Jaquin (1766-1839) to England, where he became known by the anglicised form of his name. His skill was soon spotted by Sir Joseph Banks, a keen botanist and President of the Royal Society. Banks was also de facto director of Kew at this time and in 1790 he arranged at his own expense for Bauer to be employed as 'Botanick painter to his Majesty' and to draw new plants flowering at Kew, an arrangement that continued for the rest of Bauer's life. Banks had a high regard for Bauer's work, which is not only artistically satisfying, but also notably precise and scientifically accurate; he examined minutely the plants he drew ubnder a microscope, and had an excellent knowledge of botany. Amongst his finest works are 30 plates of ericas, painted by him for Deliniations of Exotic Plants cultivated in the Royal Garden at Kew, published in three parts from 1796-1803. He also illustrated Strelitzia Depicta: Or Coloured Figures of the Known Species of the Genus Strelitzia from the Drawings in the Banksian Library (1818), and worked with John Lindley on The Genera and Species of Orchidaceous Plants (1830-8), and Genera Filicum; or Illustrations of the Ferns, and other Allied Genera (1842) by Sir William Jackson Hooker. Banks had always hoped that in due course a botanical artist would be employed by the King at Kew, but this did not seem to be forthcoming. Having therefore continued to pay Bauer's salary himself, and having also arranged for his executors to continue this arrangement after his death (in 1820) he was the official owner of the latter's work, and intended the paintings and drawings to remain at Kew. By the end of Bauer's life, however, the future of the garden was so uncertain that he agreed that the bulk of his work should be deposited at the British Museum. As a result, only a few of Bauer's works are held in the Kew Collection today, and the bulk of his work is held at the Natural History Museum, London.

Taken mainly from Rix p. 240, in Treasures of Botanical Art, RBG, Kew : Richmond, 2008