Franz Bauer (1758-1840) His father was the Court Painter and died when his three children were infants. He was the older brother of the renowned Ferdinand Bauer who was also a botanical artist
Franz’s initial involvement with botanical art was through the illustration of plants for the Professor of Botany and director of the Botanic Garden of the University of Vienna. Franz illustrated works by the Baron Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin and his son Baron Joseph Franz von Jacquin at the Schonbrunn Imperial Gardens. In 1788 he travelled to England by way of Prague, Dresden, Halle, Berlin, Gottingen, Mainz, Leiden, Utrect and Paris. Sir Joseph Banks recognised the talents of Bauer who he employed as a botanical artist at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew on an annual salary of £300. He was known by the title ‘Botanick Painter to His Majesty’.
He settled at Kew where he was to remain for the rest of his life. In England he was known by the anglicised version of his name Francis Bauer. The drawings he made while at Kew have much scientific value and at the same time are also a historic record of the development of botanical art, plant science and Kew Gardens at a time when it was expanding rapidly.
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