Franz (Francis) Andreas Bauer (1758-1840)
From a young age, Franz Bauer was surrounded by art and illustration.
His father, Lucas Bauer, was court painter to the Prince of Liechtenstein,
and following his early death in 1762 his wife Therese continued
to give her three sons lessons in art and illustration. Franz’s
older brother Josef succeeded his father as court painter and eventually
became keeper of the gallery in Vienna. The real talent, however,
lay with Franz and his younger brother Ferdinand Lucas Bauer.
The Bauer brothers acquired their first taste of scientific botanical
study with the arrival of Father Norbert Boccius, Abbot of Feldsberg,
in 1763, producing over 2000 watercolour drawings of plant specimens
under his guidance. Further training was to follow in Vienna as
Franz and Ferdinand provided illustrations for Nikolaus Joseph von
Jacquin at the Schönbrunn Imperial Gardens. The Bauer brothers’
lives were to change following offers from two eminent English scientists.
Ferdinand began new adventures abroad in 1786 after meeting the
Oxford Professor John Sibthorp, while Franz accepted a lucrative
offer from Sir Joseph Banks, who was effectively director of Kew
Francis, as Franz became known in England, received an annual income
of £300 from Banks, and the title ‘Botanick Painter
to His Majesty’. By 1790 Bauer was settled in Kew indulging
in detailed paintings and drawings often at microscopic level, and
taking great care to hand colour lithographic reproductions of his
work. During his time at Kew Franz taught Queen Charlotte, Princess
Elizabeth and William Hooker the art of illustration, and frequently
entertained friends and botanists at his home. His legacy is to
be found in such sumptuous publications as Delineations of Exotick
Plants (1796-1803), his collaboration with John Lindley Illustrations
of Orchidaceous Plants (1830-38), and his delicate lithographs
in Strelitzia Depicta (1818).
On to: Margaret