This majestic book presents the full-color prints, made by various artists, of the flora found during José Celestino Mutis' famous 1783 botanical expedition to New Granada (modern Colombia). José Celestino Mutis (1732–1808) was a Spanish priest, botanist, geographer, mathematician, doctor and professor. On three occasions he proposed a botanical expedition to New Granada, where he had arrived in order to serve as the viceroy's doctor. After many years without a positive answer from the Spanish Crown, King Charles III, who had studied botany, accepted.
The expedition started in 1783 and spanned three decades. It did not generate spectacular scientific findings, but the drawing school that was created to record the flora produced prints of exceptional quality. Among the artists, Salvador Rizo and Francisco Javier Matís were the most outstanding; Matís in particular was described by polymath Alexander Humboldt as the best botanical illustrator in the world.