Dr Robert Thornton

The story of the making of Dr. Robert John Thornton’s opus, Temple of Flora, is inextricably entwined with the history of botany, eighteenth century exploration of unknown continents, and the resultant fascination with newly-discovered exotic plant species brought back to Europe. A passion for discovery was at the forefront of the collaborative achievements of enlightened scientists, artists and explorers and their patrons. As explorers traveled the globe, interest in collecting new species of plants increased. This heightened the excitement surrounding all things botanical. Dr. Thornton came of age during this time of artists and botanists working together under royal patronage to describe, illustrate and celebrate newly discovered botanical wonders. Thornton was challenged to demonstrate Britain’s artistic superiority in this field.

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