This book is about a remarkable collection of botanical drawings belonging to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. The watercolours were commissioned by Alexander Gibson, an East India Company surgeon, and depict plants grown in the botanic gardens under his control in the Bombay Presidency. They are the work of an unknown Portuguese-Indian artist and were made between 1847 and 1850.
The main section of the book includes colour reproductions of the 170 drawings arranged in the order of the Bombay Flora, which Gibson co-authored with Nicholas Dalzell. Half the species depicted are native to western India, the other half are exotics from as far afield as Argentina and Australia. The colour plates are preceded by substantial chapters on Gibsons life and work (including his role as a pioneering forest conservator), and a history of Dapuri and Gibsons other botanic gardens. An illustrated introduction tells of the authors travels in search of information about Gibson, his gardens and the drawings.
About the Author
H J Noltie is a plant taxonomist at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh since 1986, where his work has been both taxonomic and curatorial. He has jointly curated many exhibitions on botanical subjects, and has travelled extensively in India and the Himalayas.
"The hardbound book will be a delight of botanists, and will inspire budding artists. It will be a useful possession in any library, especially in botanical gardens and educational institutions." The Hindu