The Lost Art of Nature Printing

Date:
Organiser: events@linnean.org
02074344479 ext 211

ONLINE LUNCHTIME LECTURE 12:30–13:00 Wednesday 10 June 2020

Bat
© Pia Östlund

Nature printing is a unique and historic way of taking prints from natural objects, which creates images of great verisimilitude and detail. In Europe, nature printing first appeared in early Renaissance Italy, where it was used by herbalists to record medicinal and other useful plants.

The lecture will introduce the colourful history of nature printing with emphasis on a later refined method invented in Vienna in 1853. Brought to London by a Fleet Street printer, the introduction of this new form of representation and the curious images it produced, is a tale of industrial espionage, ferns and roofing lead.

Pia Östlund is a designer and printmaker and a Central Saint Martin’s School of Art & Design alumni. She has focussed on reviving a lost 19th century printing process which creates strangely life-like images of plants on paper. Her research resulted in an MA(Res) at the Typography Department, University of Reading. The history and rediscovery of nature printing was described in The Nature-Printer… together with writer Simon Prett (The TimPress 2016). She has featured on Radio 4 Making Histories (2013) and Natural Histories (2019).


  • This event is free and open to all.
  • The event will be streamed directly to YouTube and will begin at 12:30 BST.

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