Volume 1 of a new 2 part work on Indian environmental history and botanical art.
Hugh Francis Clarke Cleghorn (1820–1895) was one of the many remarkable Scottish surgeons who worked for the East India Company, but who used an official posting as a base for research upon India’s rich flora, and recording it visually in drawings made by Indian artists. His particular interest was in useful plants, which led to the major work in the field of forest conservancy for which he is best remembered. This book offers a definitive biography of Cleghorn’s life and work placing it in the latter days of the Scottish Enlightenment, both in the field of applied and useful knowledge, and the documentation of natural resources in both words and pictures.
Volume 2 of a new 2 part work on Indian environmental history and botanical art.
After Cleghorn’s death his outstanding collection of drawings, and books relating to forestry and botany, was divided between the University of Edinburgh and what became the National Museum of Scotland. The latter share was transferred to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) in 1940, whereupon it was reunited with his substantial Indian herbarium that had been given in 1896. At this point Cleghorn became, if posthumously, one of the most significant benefactors in the Garden’s 300-year history – books dating back to 1582, and around 3000 exquisite botanical drawings. In this book, more than 200 of the drawings from the Cleghorn Collection are reproduced, in colour, for the first time. These include drawings from nature, copies based on European prints, and Nature Prints made from herbarium specimens. They are the work of several South Indian artists and of pupils of the pioneering Madras School of Art.