London: 1806. Stunning original mezzotint & colored stipple aquatint of allegorical figures paying homage to a bust of the famed scientist, Carl Linnaeus, famous for his work in taxonomy, the science of identifying, naming and classifying organisms, particularly plants. The richly colored print was produced through an elaborate engraving technique using mezzotint, aquatint, etching and line engraving on a single plate. It is from one of the most admired flower books ever assembled, Thornton's "The Temple of Flora".
Linnaeus is honored by, from left, Asclepius (god of medicine), Cupid (god of desire, winged infant seated in foreground), Flora (goddess of flowers and a symbol of nature), and Ceres (goddess of agriculture). Flora offers a garland of flowers, Ceres crowns the bust with a golden wreath, and an additional winged cupid sprinkles flowers from a cloud above the bust.
From Thornton's renowned "Temple of Flora", the third and final part of Robert Thornton’s 'New illustration of the sexual system of Carolus von Linnaeus'. Russel R. A. and Opic R. A. pinx; Caldwall, Sculp. Large folio. 15 x 20", on paper 17 x 21 1/2". Chip at upper left edge, extends into the impression mark by 1/4", a closed crease in margin lower corner, otherwise very good condition.
This magnificent engraving in full original color was the crowning glory to 'The Temple of Flora', serving as the frontispiece for the monumental botanical work. Highly desirable. Item #24029