James Sowerby (1757-1822) was an English naturalist, artist, engraver and teacher. He studied at the Royal Academy in London. He created his first botanical art when he was about thirty.
Sowerby went on to work for William Curtis. He contributed to the first volumes of The Botanical Magazine and Flora Londinensis.
By the mid 1790's James Sowerby was the finest botanical artist in England. He became the head of a gifted family of British natural science illustrators.
English Botany was Sowerby's most celebrated achievement by far. He used vivid coloured engravings and easy to read texts to reach a wide audience. The engravings were delicate and detailed.
Here are some of his engravings for you to choose from. They are original antiques prints from the 1790s and have hand painted colouring.