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Highlights from the Royal Society Collections

The art and science of Richard Waller

The paintings of Richard Waller FRS (c. 1660-1715) are technically brilliant and years ahead of their time. His groundbreaking set of botanical watercolours was intended to illustrate a catalogue of plants by John Ray and Waller wanted, above all, accuracy, so taught himself to engrave and even produced colour charts as a guide to the reproduction process.

However, his project was never completed. Had it been, Richard Waller would now be celebrated among the most influential of scientific artists. Was it the cost of printing that stopped him or simply the distraction of other interests? We simply do not know.

Richard Waller

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