October 19, 2009
I read a lovely essay recently by David Quammen about Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist that gave us binomial nomenclature that is still in use in modern taxonomy today. Although Linnaeus spent much of his time in Uppsala as a professor, he and his family spent many summers in their home in Hammarby. Supposedly you can visit this home and see his bedroom and study perfectly preserved. He had papered the walls floor to ceiling with beautiful botanical engravings. The engravings are very valuable for their own sake, as many are by Georg Dionysius Ehret, an artist whose work graces many of Linnaeus's most famous works. The prints are water stained, and could be peeled easily off of the walls, but they have been left in place as though Linnaeus was about to return at any moment.