Botanica paradiso

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The botanical world has inspired some of the most sumptuous illustrations to be found in the pages of books. The natural world, and plants in particular, drive our sense of harmony in design and reinforce our own connections to nature. Botanical motifs abound in the decorative arts, culminating in the 'art nouveau' movement of the early 20th century where their stylised form lent them great power.

Our new display in the Australian Library of Art Showcase on level 4 features some of State Library's true treasures, drawn from the collections of the Australian Library of Art. From a 16th century woodblock and accompanying illustrated herbal, the luminous watercolours of pioneering 17th century female artist and scientist Maria Sybilla Merian and the striking book cover design by enfant terrible Aubrey Beardsley to a modern florilegium representing the 21st century's most deluxe publishing.

Discover an extraordinary world of rare and beautiful botanical illustrations in the Australian Library of Art Showcase, level 4. Botanica Paradiso is on display until 8 May 2022.

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