Florilegium Imperiale: Botanical Illustrations for Francis I of Austria
Florilegium Imperialis: The Floral Watercolors of Francis I of Austria
H. Walter Lack
Now available for the first time in book form, this collection of exquisitely rendered flowers presents one of the world’s great collections of botanical illustrations in a deluxe format.
Francis I of Austria, the last monarch to rule over the Holy Roman Empire, was also obsessed with flowers. His Imperial Gardens, where he realized his passion for flowers, remain one of Vienna’s most beloved treasures. In 1791, Francis I commissioned Matthias Schumtzer to paint portraits of every flower in the garden—a project that took more than three decades to complete. Until now, only six of the extant 1,300 paintings have ever been published. This collection features one hundred of the most outstanding of Schmutzer’s watercolors. Painted life-size and with extraordinary precision, the flowers range from the exotic to the common. A fascinating text offers biographical information about Francis I, descriptions of the Imperial Gardens in the ruler’s time, and photographs of how they appear today. A significant contribution to horticultural history, this unique and beautifully presented book will delight lovers of botanical art and Europhiles alike.
H. Walter Lack is director of the botanical gardens in Berlin-Dahlem and professor at the Free University of Berlin. He is the author of numerous books on botanical history, including Jardin de la Malmaison: Empress Josephine’s Garden (Prestel).
We would LOVE it if you could help us and other readers by reviewing the book