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Epilebium Augustifolium

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1777-1798 (engraved)
    1777-1798 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Curtis, William (publisher)
    Sansom, Franciscus (engraver)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving coloured by hand

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case CB, shelf 120

William Curtis's Flora Londinensis was a field guide to the wild flowers growing within ten miles of London. It was a serial publication that came out between 1777 and 1798. For the engraved, hand-coloured illustrations Curtis employed some of the most prominent botanical artists. Curtis was a botanist who worked at the Chelsea Physic Garden and then established the London Botanic Garden at Lambeth. He later found commercial success with the Botanical Magazine from 1787, for which Francis Sansom became the principle engraver.

In almost every case, the plants in the Flora Londinensis were shown life-size on folio pages large enough not to restrict their subjects. Like the early herbals and especially the manuscript herbals, Curtis’s artists show the whole plant, complete with roots. The plant is an intact entity, not fragmented as was common in scientific illustration of the period.

Physical description

Engraving, coloured by hand of Epilebium Augustifolium (Rosebay Willowherb).

Place of Origin

London (published)


1777-1798 (engraved)
1777-1798 (published)


Curtis, William (publisher)
Sansom, Franciscus (engraver)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving coloured by hand

Marks and inscriptions

'Epilobium augustifolium'
Lower centre

'Sansom. Sculp.'
Lower right

No. 106
Top right


Height: 42 cm trimmed, Width: 27.2 cm trimmed, Height: 39 cm platemark, Width: 24.7 cm platemark

Descriptive line

Print, engraving, coloured by hand by Francis Sansom, Epilobium Augustifolium, plate from William Curtis 'Flora Londinensis', 1777-98. Former assigned number C.12591.

Subjects depicted

Rosebay Willowherb


Printed pages & sheets; Books; Illustration


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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