Publisher Information: London: Dr. Thornton, 1805.
Linnaeus, Carl (1707-78). Linnaeus in his Lapland dress. Mezzotint portrait, hand-colored, by Robert Dunkarton after the painting by Martin Hoffman. London: Published by Dr. Thornton, 1 June 1805. 505 x 351 mm. (platemark); 565 x 459 mm. (sheet). A few small chips and marginal tears not affecting image, traces of former mounting in upper corners, but very good.
Striking hand-colored mezzotint portrait of Linnaeus at age 30 from the 1737 painting by Martin Hoffman, engraved by Robert Dunkarton for inclusion in R. J. Thornton’s Temple of Flora (1805). In the words of Linnaeus’s early biographer, Dietrich Heinrich Stoever, the portrait showed Linnaeus “with boots of reindeer-skin, about his body a girdle, from which was suspended a Laplander’s drum, a needle to make nets, a straw snuffbox, a cartridgebox and a knife; his neck was bare; his head was covered with a grey round hat [colored red in the present engraving]; his hair was of a stiff brown colour; over his hand he wore Laplander’s gloves; and in his right hand he held a plant, red from within and white from without” (Stoever, The Life of Sir Charles Linnaeus , quoted in Blunt, Linnaeus: The Compleat Naturalist, p. 117). The plant was twinflower, which Linnaeus observed while exploring Lapland and subsequently adopted as a sort of emblem. “[Linnaeus’s] teacher Jan Frederik Gronovius took notice of his student’s fondness for the plant and, perhaps because of Linnaeus’s entreatment, renamed twinflower Linnaea borealis in honor of his student… Linnaeus reveals the story in his book Species plantarum: ‘Linnaea was named by the celebrated Gronovius and is a plant of Lapland, lowly, insignificant and disregarded, flowering but a brief space—from Linnaeus who resembles it’” (Stetter, p. 21). T. Stetter, “Meeting twinflower [Linneae borealis],” in P. Cenki, ed., Nature and Culture in the Northern Forest, pp. 17-27.Book Id: 45324