When I change the seasonal banners for my website and Facebook Page, I normally try to pick images for each seasonal banner of flowers or fruits which I'm totally confident are correct for the season. However I've been totally seduced by a wonderful album of Chinese watercolours of Asian fruits - and I have absolutely no idea which ones are correct in which season or even what some of the fruits are - despite three trips to the east (Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia) and visiting local markets! Although I think I recognised some....
The main problem is none of the fruits are identified in English and indeed each is identified only by very faint arabic script. However I did recognise the pink pineapple which I regularly see fruiting in the Princess of Wales Glasshouse at Kew.
[Note: feel free to suggest what the fruits are in this image via the comments]
I found the album:
The Harvard reference page states...
Bill Archer and his wife Mildred, an English art historian who specialized in 18th- and 19th-century art in British India, curator of Prints and Drawings at the India Office Library from 1954 to 1980, viewed this album of watercolors at Dumbarton Oaks around 1958 and determined from their style and coloring that the album was most likely painted by a Chinese artist, probably in Malaysia or Sumatra. Archer dated the manuscript to between 1798 and 1810.
while the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library shelflist card apparently states
"Drawn by Indian artists under English influence: probably done in India but has no relation to Chinese artists - check where Chinese were working at this time in India or possibly in Indo-China. Indian artists started this vogue of drawing. Writing is perhaps Malaysian."
Whoever painted them, the first 12 paintings are absolutely fascinating as they are very elaborate compositions which fill the page. they comprise:
Asian artists who go large.....
I'm a big fan of the adventurous botanical artist with the ambition to "go large"! I well remember being absolutely 'gobsmacked' the first time I saw the botanical paintings of Sansanee Deekrajang at the RHS Botanical Art Show in terms of the astounding content and composition and colour!
However there are many others whose large and complex artwork I've seen in exhibitions at RHS and Kew.
Maybe it's a trait of Asian botanical artists? During the time I've been studying and reviewing botanical art, I know I've seen some fantastically ambitious, large and complex paintings produced by Asian artists of various countries of origin. It certainly helps you win an RHS Gold Medal on your inclusion in the exhibition!
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