Discovering Ferdinand Bauer
Talks / Lecture
Presented in association with the Australian Garden History Society.
Internationally acclaimed as one of the greatest botanical artists of all time, Ferdinand Bauer (1760–1826) was the first European to record in detail an unprecedented range of unique plants and animals on the Australian continent.
Two hundred years later, Bauer’s illustrations of Australian flora and fauna are still remarkable, both as art and for their scientific value. His technique allowed him to reproduce form, tone and shading with extraordinary precision. Goethe said of Bauer’s work that ‘we are enchanted at the sight of these leaves: nature is revealed, art concealed, great in its precision, gentle in its execution, decisive and satisfying in its appearance’.
In this lecture, former Australian Ambassador to Austria David Stuart explores the art of Bauer, whose work is spread around the globe, with significant holdings in the world-renowned Museum of Natural History in Vienna as well as in the National Library of Australia.
Image: Ferdinand Bauer, Stewartia serrata (detail), 1800–1810, nla.cat-vn213950