Fascination with botanical life has stimulated scientific and artistic imaginations for centuries. As botanists collected and documented local plants and faraway specimens, artists depicted blooms in gardens and bouquets. In black and white and in living color, images of blossoming flowers and medicinal herbs evoke the marvels of nature. These vivid representations, many from the Getty Research Institute's Tania Norris Collection of Botanical Books, continue to spark imaginations today.
Image: Bird-of-Paradise, adapted from Cobweb Houseleek and Bird-of-Paradise by Frederick J. Sansom, after Sydenham Edwards. From Sydenham Edwards, The New Botanic Garden, vol. 2 (London, 1812), pl. 53. Getty Research Institute, 2885-173. Gift of Tania Norris