S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Bauer, Mr Ferdinand Lukas (plant collection)

Born: 20 January 1760, Feldsberg, Austria.
Died: 17 March 1826, Vienna, Austria.

Ferdinand L. Bauer was an Austrian naturalist and botanical artist. In 1880 he and his older brother Frans Andreas were employed by Baron N. von Jacquin in Vienna to illustrate his Icones Plantarum Rariorum (1781-1793). In 1786 Ferdinand was employed by Professor J. Sibthorpe, professor of botany at the University of Oxford, as his natural history painter. They travelled widely in the Mediterranean before going to England in 1787. During this expedition Ferdinand made many coloured drawings of plants, animals and landscapes, which were later published in Flora Graeca Sibthorpiana (1806-1840). He also contributed descriptions of newly discovered plants from Greece to this work.

In 1801 Bauer was appointed by Sir Joseph Banks* as botanical draughtsman to accompany the botanist Robert Brown* on an expedition led by Capt. Matthew Flinders to survey the coasts of Australia and Tasmania. In the course of this expedition Brown and Bauer collected some 4000 species of plants. On their outward journey on board the Investigator they reached Simon's Bay on 17 October 1801, leaving again on 3 November. During their brief stay they collected a considerable number of plants in the vicinity. The expedition returned to England in 1805 and in 1813 Bauer returned to Vienna. Some of the illustrations he made during the expedition were published in Ferdinandi Bauer Illustrationes florae Novae Hollandia... (London, 1813), with descriptions by Brown. Bauer was himself an able botanist who made the dissected parts of flowers and plant organs the subject of highly magnified and very accurate drawings. Some of these were used to illustrate various other works, but most remained unpublished. The plant genus Bauera and several species were named after him.

List of sources:

Australian dictionary of biography. Melbourne University Press, 1966-1991.

Debus, A.G. (Ed.) World who's who in science. Chicago: Marquis, 1968.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Compiled by: C. Plug