James Sowerby (1757-1852) was in the forefront of the English botanical artists of the late 18th. and early 19th. Centuries. After studying art at the Royal Academny, Sowerby started his career as a young man illustrating the Flora Londonensis of William Curtis.
Following this, he worked alongside the great British botanical artist Sydenham Edwards; they were two of the first illustrators of the Botanical Magazine, also by William Curtis. Another early commission was drawing some of the plates (along with Redoutè and others) for the book Geranologia by L’Hèrtier de Brutelle. The work that he is most associated with though is understandably his own English Botany, an herbal that he produced between 1790-1813 (First Edition) in thirty-six volumes with over 3,000 color plates. The English Botany is well liked for it’s charming illustrations but also respected for the science contained in the text, authored by James Edward Smith. James Sowerby would go on to illustrate works on Zoology, Conchology, Mineralogy and Color Theory later in his distinguished career.