Crawford House Publishing
Bonsai Living Sculpture

This book is a thorough study of the origins, history and aesthetics of bonsai, and also introduces the reader to some of the most important bonsai artists. The text is lavishly illustrated with photographs of the private collection of the author, considered one of the best in Europe, and the collection of Felipe González Márquez, former president of Spain, donated to the Royal Botanic Garden of Madrid.

The book begins with descriptions of the origins and evolution of the art of ‘making’ bonsai, from its appearance to the present day, with special reference to the popularisation of bonsai in the West. These chapters are illustrated with paintings and engravings relation to bonsai, its origins, and its relation to nature.

The book then deals with the influence of nature on the design and shape of a bonsai. Photographs of trees with unique form and ‘architecture’ illustrate this chapter. The author discusses the styles, forms and schools that have developed throughout history, and the different elements that have appeared in its composition. It is illustrated with photographs of the workshops of Japanese potters and manufacturers of tools.

The next section deals with and is illustrated with photographs of the Japanese workshops and greenhouses of the principal artists and masters of bonsai.

The author then discusses the different creative processes. Through a series of photographs, the reader is shown how a bonsai is created how it is modelled and transplanted putting into practice the principles discussed in the preceding chapters.

The main part of the book is the final section. It gives information about, and photographs of, the private collection of Luis Vallejo. His collection is presented from different perspectives: the characteristics, origins and forms of the bonsai; the most important trees that have been designed by the author; bonsai that have been acquired from Japanese masters, as well as bonsai from the collection at the Bonsai Museum of Alcobendas, and trees from the donated collection of Felipe González Márquez.

Bonsai: Living Sculpture deals with a unique collection in Europe, acquired and ‘made’ by the author during a period of more than twenty years, and with trees of Eastern and Western origin, which also implies a conjunction of philosophies and cultures.


Luis Vallejo






150 full-colour photographs


Portrait; hardcover; 224 pages


315 x 270 mm



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