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The Art of African Exploration
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In the 1700s and 1800s, interest in natural history flourished. With its wealth of previously unknown species, Africa fascinated scientists, explorers, artists, and gentleman scholars.

The Dutch colonial settlement at the Cape of Good Hope, long an important stop along European trade routes, served as a key point of entry into the interior of Africa. Because of this, many early explorers and naturalists focused on the Cape region, illustrating and describing in detail the flora, fauna, and the peoples they encountered there.

View of a Bushman Kraal
View of a Bushman Kraal. Image number:10841

Heading north from the Cape, British naturalist William Burchell explored the interior of South Africa between 1810 and 1815. He collected an estimated 60,000 scientific specimens and made more than 500 drawings, some of which illustrate this narrative of his travels.
 
A view of Capetown, Table Bay & Tygerberg,  Image number:SIL28-275-03
A view of Capetown, Table Bay & Tygerberg
Heading north from the Cape, British naturalist William Burchell explored the in...
A view of Klaarwater looking towards the North-east,  Image number:SIL28-275-06
A view of Klaarwater looking towards the North-east
Heading north from the Cape, British naturalist William Burchell explored the in...
View of the town of Litákun,  Image number:SIL28-275-12
View of the town of Litákun
Heading north from the Cape, British naturalist William Burchell explored the in...
Hottentot Ornaments &c.,  Image number:SIL28-290-01
Hottentot Ornaments &c.
Swedish botanist Anders Sparrman went to the Cape in 1772 to document plant life...
Arms &c. of the Hottentots,  Image number:SIL28-290-02
Arms &c. of the Hottentots
Swedish botanist Anders Sparrman went to the Cape in 1772 to document plant life...
Amarylis disticha, The bulb is used for poisoning arrows.,  Image number:SIL28-292-01
Amarylis disticha, The bulb is used for poisoning arrows.
William Paterson traveled to the Cape region in search of botanical specimens in...
Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver tree.,  Image number:SIL28-292-02
Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver tree.
William Paterson traveled to the Cape region in search of botanical specimens in...
The flowers of the Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver tree.,  Image number:SIL28-292-03
The flowers of the Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver tree.
William Paterson traveled to the Cape region in search of botanical specimens in...
The leaves of the Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver tree.,  Image number:SIL28-292-04
The leaves of the Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver tree.
William Paterson traveled to the Cape region in search of botanical specimens in...
The trunk of the Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver tree.,  Image number:SIL28-292-05
The trunk of the Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver tree.
William Paterson traveled to the Cape region in search of botanical specimens in...
Euphorbia. Part of the stem and flowers.,  Image number:SIL28-292-06
Euphorbia. Part of the stem and flowers.
William Paterson traveled to the Cape region in search of botanical specimens in...
Hunter's camp on the Somokwe River,  Image number:SIL28-293-01
Hunter's camp on the Somokwe River
Frank Oates, an English naturalist and adventurer, headed to southern Africa in ...
 Image number:SIL28-294-01

Frank Oates, an English naturalist and adventurer, headed to southern Africa in ...
 
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