Robert John Thornton

The Tulips

1799 - 1807

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Robert John Thornton (English, 1768–1837).

  • Aquatint and mezzotint, printed in color and finished by hand, heightened with gum arabic from The Temple of Flora.
  • Thornton was a prolific medical author and became a doctor of medicine at St Andrews University and licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians; however, he is best remembered for his great botanical publication The Temple of Flora, composed of 30 folio botanical plates. For these remarkable illustrations, he engaged the services of the leading artists and engravers of his day: Sir William Beechey, James Opie, Henry Raeburn, John Russell, Philip Reinagle and others as painters: Francesco Bartolozzi, Richard Earlom and John Landseer, however, most of the images were painted by Peter Charles Henderson and Philip Reinagle.
  • These botanical illustrations are unique as they were the first flower prints with landscape backgrounds, depicting the natural habitat of the plant.
  • The life-size flowers stand out dramatically and the whole effect is startlingly modern.
  • Framed and glazed.

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Not examined out of frame.

Wear consistent with age.


Height: 25.2 inches / 64 cm
Width: 20.47 inches / 52 cm


Paper, Glass

Decorative Style

Traditional Style

Country of Origin


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