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“One of the world’s greatest ever works of floral art”Celebrating...

“One of the world’s greatest ever works of floral art”

Celebrating Spring

The temple of Flora : or, Garden of nature, being picturesque botanical plates of the New illustration of the sexual system of Linnaeus / by Robert John Thornton.

To celebrate Spring we are highlighting this book from the Rare Books and Special Collections at the State Library of NSW. This is among many books in our collections which document botanical specimens. These books contain superb illustrations of flora and fauna and are beautifully presented.

Published in 1799 the Temple of Flora is the third and final part of Robert John Thornton’s A new illustration of the sexual system of Linnæus considered by many to be one of the finest English flower books.

Selecting the most interesting and beautiful plants being brought into Britain from around the globe and using landscape and portrait artists, the finest engravers of the day, and poets to write versus Thornton’s vision of creating this monument to Linnaeus has become one of the world’s greatest works of floral art.

See digitised images of the Temple of Flora onlline via the Library’s catalogue. You can also see A new illustration of the sexual system of Linnæus online via the database Eighteenth Century Collections Online.

Browse a list of all our databases, or find a particular one by its title. You can filter by access type and by subject. You can access these eresources in the Library. For NSW residents most eresources, including the one listed above, can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, with a current library card.