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Hauck Botanical Exhibit

John Miller (Johann Sebastien Mueller), 1715-1792

Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei.
London: Prostat venalis apud auctorem in
Curia Dorsettiana juxta Parliament Street, 1777.

Title Page of Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei
Title Page

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Johann Mueller, also from Nuremberg, came to London in 1744 where he quickly anglicized his name to John Miller. A respected botanical artist and engraver, he soon was working on "several ambitious botanical publications" (Blunt 1950, 150). These were halted for lack of funding.

Illustrations "more beautiful and more accurate than any that had been seen since the world began."

Miller is well-known as the artist/engraver of Linnaeus' Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei. In 1770 the naturalist, John Ellis, wrote to Linnaeus:

Black Berries from Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei
Black Berries

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" . . . there is a valuable work now carrying on upon your system by Mr. John Miller, a German painter and engraver, under the direction of Dr. Gowan Knight, of the British Museum. This will make your system of botany familiar to the ladies, being in English as well as Latin. The figures are well drawn, and very systematically dissected and described." (quoted from Smith (Sir J.E.), A Selection of the Correspondence of Linnaeus, etc. 1 255-6 (1821) IN Henrey 1950, v.2, 279)

Carl Linnaeus considered Miller's illustrations to be "more beautiful and more accurate than any that had been seen since the world began" (Blunt 1950, 150).

Sunflowers from Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei
Sunflowers

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The Illustratio Systematis was published in parts and sold to 85 subscribers. One hundred five sets were printed. Each set consists of 104 plates in color and 104 plates, uncolored. Catherine the Great purchased the original plates, now in the Komarov Botanic Library, St. Petersburg (St. Mary-at-Lambeth Burials).

Miller died in 1792 and is buried at St. Mary-at-Lambeth Anglican Church, Diocese of Southwark, London. (op. cit.)

Sources:

Blunt, Wilfrid. The Art of Botanical Illustration. London: Collins, 1950.
 
Henrey, Blanche. British Botanical and Horticultural Literature Before 1800. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.
 
"St. Mary-at-Lambeth Burials". London: Museum of Garden History. Web page on Internet available from http://www.compulink.co.uk/~museumgh/grave.htm; accessed December 21, 2006.

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