The seventeenth century heralded a golden age of exploration, as intrepid travelers sailed around the world to gain firsthand knowledge of previously unknown continents. These explorers also collected the world's most beautiful flora, and often their findings were recorded for posterity by talented professional artists. The Golden Age of Botanical Art tells the story of these exciting plant-hunting journeys and marries it with full-color reproductions of the stunning artwork they produced. Covering work through the nineteenth century, this lavishly illustrated book offers readers a look at 250 rare or unpublished images by some of the world's most important botanical artists. Truly global in its scope, The Golden Age of Botanical Art features work by artists from Europe, China, and India, recording plants from places as disparate as Africa and South America. Martyn Rix has compiled the stories and art not only of well-known figures--such as Leonardo da Vinci and the artists of Empress Josephine Bonaparte--but also of those adventurous botanists and painters whose names and work have been forgotten. A celebration of both extraordinarily beautiful plant life and the globe-trotting men and women who found and recorded it, The Golden Age of Botanical Art will enchant gardeners and art lovers alike.