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The Royal Horticultural Society Diary 2013 focuses on works of art done on vellum. Before paper was invented vellum was the commonest surface used for writing or painting on. Vellum - essentially the skin of an animal that is treated until it becomes paper thin - was expensive to produce and so was reserved for use and commissions by the very wealthy - often royalty. Paintings on vellum have a luminosity and richness that is quite unlike paper. The diary features works of art from the RHS collection, which date mainly from the 18th century. The collection includes images from a book of botanical paintings belonging to the Empress Josephine, as well as others by professional artists and wealthy amateurs.
Founded in 1977, Frances Lincoln has been creating illustrated books of the highest quality ever since, with special emphasis on gardening, walking and the outdoors, art, architecture, design, and landscape.