NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), Swedish botanist and taxonomist. Linnaeus is considered the founder of modern taxonomy, the system of classifying living organisms. In 1735, he published 'Systema Naturae' (The Natural World) in which he divided flowering plants into classes based on the plant sex organs. In 1749, he introduced binomial nomenclature. This gave each plant a generic Latin noun (genus), followed by a specific adjective (species). The medallion (lower right) is the Order of the Polar Star, awarded 1753. This painting, by Magnus Hallman (1745-1822), dates from circa 1780. Original held at the Natural History Museum, London, UK.
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