The art of Franz and Ferdinand Bauer was praised by the poet and botanist Johann Goethe as the perfect expression of the aims of botanical illustration. The book examines the contrasting lives of Franz (1758-1840), for 50 years the resident artist at Kew Gardens, and Ferdinand (1760-1826) who led a life of travel and adventure as a natural history artist including participating in the historic voyage to Australia of HMS Investigator in the early nineteenth century. It is illustrated with images from the superb archive of Bauer drawings at the Natural History Museum Library, many of which have never been published before. These include beautiful and finely detailed watercolours of flowering plants collected from across the world, pioneering microscopical drawings of plant anatomy and pictures of the newly discovered animals from the coasts of Australia. The book is published to tie-in with a new art exhibition opening at the Natural History Museum in November 2015.
Paul Martyn Cooper is a Special Collections Librarian at the Natural History Museum where he has worked for 28 years. Paul's work has focused on the acquisition and curation of the Life Sciences literature. Since 2011 he has had a special responsibility for artwork, manuscripts and rare books. Paul has a longstanding interest in the history of the Library collections and in promoting knowledge about the collections and enhancing access to them.