Robert James Thornton, 1812. Aquatint printed in color and finished by hand. Image measures 10 1/2" x 7 1/4". Sheet measures 14 5/8" x 12"
This lovely print depicts a lavender-colored rhododendron with a small, yellow butterfly to its right. Drawn by Peter Charles Henderson and engraved by John Roffe (c.1769-1850), the print appeared in Robert James Thornton's 1812 edition of "The Temple of Flora." This book featured smaller-scale re-engravings of the floral images from Thornton's original 1802 edition. "The Temple of Flora" is one of the most admired illustrated botanical set ever published in Britain. This copy of the print is in good condition, with slight browning on the edges of the margins not affecting the image and very light off-setting throughout. Dr. Robert John Thornton (1768-1837) was an English physician and botanical writer. A specialist in medical botany, Thornton dedicated the later part of his life to publishing collections of floral plates. "The Temple of Flora" was the final and most ambitious volume of "A New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus Von Linnæus," which Thornton commissioned and compiled between 1797 and 1807. This print is a lovely example of his work.