Peter Henderson. "The Dragon Arum". From Robert John Thornton's Temple of Flora.
London: R.J. Thornton, 1801. State III of IV. 17 3/4 x 13 3/4. Mezzotint by Ward with aquatint added to this state. Printed in colors. Very good condition.
A dramatic print from Dr. Thornton's justifiably famous Temple of Flora. Designed as a grand tribute to the Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, this work of large sized floral prints is considered by many to be the most magnificent such work ever produced. Each print was the result of a mixture of elaborate engraving processes. They were first printed in color and then finished by hand, making it one of the earliest works to use this method.
The prints have a bold, dramatic impact unlike any other, the result not only of the superb engraving and coloring, but also from Thornton's use of 'classical' landscapes in the backgrounds. The early strikes of these prints have a tactile quality that makes the flowers rise up from their background almost into three dimensions. With their varied and striking backgrounds, rich texture and color and imposing size, these are prints unlike any others, and this is an excellent example from this superb series.