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Sex and Science in Robert Thornton’s Temple of Flora

- March 11, 2015 in Art & Illustrations, Books, botanical illustrations, botany, Carl Linnaeus, Erasmus Darwin, Featured Articles, flora, flowers, Painting, poetry, robert thornton, Science & Medicine, sex, temple of flora

Bridal beds, blushing captives, and swollen trunks - Carl Linnaeus' taxonomy of plants heralded a whole new era in 18th-century Europe of plants being spoken of in sexualised terms. Martin Kemp explores how this association between the floral and erotic reached its visual zenith in Robert Thornton's exquisitely illustrated Temple of Flora.