"While the wonders of nature have long been an inspiration to artists, the birth of modern science in the sixteenth century provided a new way of seeing and interpreting the natural world. 'The Flowering of Florence: Botanical Art for the Medici' celebrates the close ties linking the arts and the sciences in Tuscany between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The pursuit of the natural sciences, in particular botany and horticulture, and a passion for the arts found ardent supporters in the Medici grand dukes, following a Florentine tradition from the time of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
Among the sixty-eight works in this elegant exhibition are paintings, works on vellum and paper, pietre dure (hardstone mosaics), manuscripts, printed books, ad sumptuous textiles that were created in this remarkable culture. The exhibition focuses primarily on the art of three distinguished yet very different painters, Jacopo Ligozzi, Giovanna Garzoni, and Bartolomeo Bimbi, each gifted with a masterly technique, originality, and freshness of style. Lucia Tongiorgi Tomaso of the University of Pisa first proposed this exhibition on botanical imagery, and she was joined in the project at the National Gallery of Art by Gretchen A. Hirshauer, assistant curator of Italian Renaissance paintings." -- Description taken from the Forward at the front of the book.