Dr. Robert Thornton

Dr. Robert Thornton was an English physician and botanical writer who devoted himself to the production of a folio illustrating the Linnean system of classification which categorized flowers according to their sexual characteristics (i.e. stamen and pistils). Thornton’s The Temple of Flora illustrates Linnean taxonomy through depictions of flowers against their native surrounding. While the production of the folio was costly, and Thornton did not receive the financial returns he had anticipated, The Temple of Flora is “one of the greatest prizes of collectors of fine flower-books” (Great Flower Books, 43).