Many people now carry a phone with a camera capable of taking very high-quality pictures, and yet the painting of botanical specimens persists with new Florilegium Societies still being formed. Why is a drawing and painting still considered to be superior to a digital image? This talk looks at the history of botanical illustration from drawings made on rocks 20,000 years ago to the present day, taking in the lives of both the artists and the plants immortalised in the artwork.
Timothy Walker was director of the Oxford University Botanic Garden from 1988 to 2014, and since then a college lecturer and tutor at Somerville College, Oxford. Botanic gardens are often described as living museums, and garden curators lecture about them in the same way as museum curators talk about their collections. Gardens are often thought of as a place where science and art meet on equal terms. Timothy’s lectures investigate this relationship.