I'm changing the image used for the Home Page of Botanical Art and Artists and my associated Facebook Page with the seasons.
I did think about maybe having plants that flowered in the Northern Hemisphere. However it seemed a pity not to use the opportunity to highlight those plants that grown in the Southern Hemisphere.
I finally plumped for a rather splendid botanical illustration of Protea mellifera from 'Specimens of the flora of South Africa'. When it was published in 1850, the book was very well received and Queen Victoria headed the list of subscribers.
The illustration is by Arabella Roupell (1817 - 1914) a Victorian English Flower Painter whose husband was posted to what was then the Cape Colony for two years between 1843 and 1845. During the posting she painted the flowers she found on the Cape of Good Hope.
A copy of the book Specimens of the Flora of South Africa By A Lady, explanatory text by William Henry Harvey. London: printed by W. Nicol, 1849 was sold at Christies in New York for $6875.
This is what Christies had to say about the book
A RARE LARGE-SCALE WORK CELEBRATING THE AMAZING DIVERSITY OF THE FLORA OF THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE. Arabella Roupell (née Piggott) was the wife of Thomas Boone Roupell of the East India Company. She based her drawings on specimens collected at the Cape of Good Hope in 1843 and 1844. Dr. Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854) reviewed them and sent them to his colleague, Sir William Hooker (1785-1865), in London for further critique. Wallich and Hooker suggested that Roupell publish them, and recommended P. Gauci as the lithographer. Professor William Henry Harvey (1811-1866) provided the descriptive text. The final image in the work, Roupellia grata, was named in honor of various members of the Roupell family (including Aribella Roupell and her husband, his grandfather Charles Roupell of Charleston, and Dr. Roupell of London) by Wallich and Hooker. M. Arnold South African Botanical Art(Vlaeberg, 2001), p.39; BM(NH) IV, p.1742; Great Flower Books (1990) p.134; Mendelssohn II, p.254; Nissen BBI 1687; Stafleu-Cowan TL2 9684.
Back in 2015, the Botanical Artists Association of South Africa viewed her paintings the in Special Collections and Archives, Jagger Library, UCT.
You can read more about the Arabella Roubell's background and the paintings on Wikipedia and you see more of her work in Wikimedia Commons
Protea mellifera / repens
Protea mellifera is now known as Protea repens. Protea mellifera Thunb. is a synonym of Protea repens L.
P. mellifera, Thunb., is named in the Linnean Herbarium P. repens and was published as such by Linnæus in his Mantissa, p. 189. Eighteen years previously he had published a description of this plant under the name of Leucadendron repens (Linn. Sp. Pl. ed. i. 91); his var. β being P. repens, Thunb. The specific name repens is so inapplicable to this plant, while Thunberg's name is so suitable and has been in such general use that we have retained it.
It's also, according to Plantz Africa, run by the South Africa Biodiversity Institute known as sugarbush, common sugarbush, real sugarbush, honey protea (Eng.), suikerbos, stroopbos, opregtesuikerbos (Afr.)
Protea repens is an excellent addition to any wildlife-friendly garden as the large amount of nectar produced by the flowers attracts birds, bees and other insects.
Subscribe to BAA News
Get every blog post emailed to you when you
Subscribe to Botanical Art & Artists - News by Email
For fans of botanical art history - I am pleased to present a wonderful opportunity for some leisurely browsing on a Sunday morning!
Sotheby's have an upcoming auction of the Botanical Library of D. F. Allen in New York. Prior to the auction they are showcasing three centuries of the finest illustrated botanical books in their auction house and online (via the catalogue and lots) prior to the auction on Thursday next week.
Auction: The Magnificent Botanical Library of D. F. Allen
Auctioneers/Venue: Sotheby's New York, 1334 York Avenue, New York 10021 USA
Date: 26 October starting at 10am EDT
Exhibition: 21st October - 25th October 2017
You can view the exhibition of the books at Sotheby's New York between now and Thursday. It's the very first time the books have been seen outside the Pacific northwest. The exhibition hours are
Alternatively you can browse online either via the Lots or the online catalogue.
Or you can download the catalogue as a pdf file.
You can see a couple of examples of double page spreads within the catalogue below.
Enjoy your browsing!
The Best Botanical Art and Illustration Instruction Books is the section on my website which I've devoted to developing a guide to the best instruction / "how to" books available for students and practitioners of botanical art and illustration.
There's an awful lot of books out there.
I hope you'll find my guide useful. Maybe bookmark it for later - or even link to it?
There's more below explaining how this guide to the best instruction books for botanical art and illustration actually works.
A guide to the best "how to" books for creating botanical art and illustration for students of botanical art and and those wishing to develop their knowledge and skills
What does this guide have to offer?
What I've tried to do is:
As a guide I've also included the average ratings out of 5 stars for each book (in the UK and USA). Plus a guide to how to interpret these ratings as they are various factors - detailed in my guide - that influence how many ratings a book has got to date.
All paintings are watercolours of botanical subjects and birds of Northern Italy by Mary Ann Scott.
Mary Ann is the author of one of the most popular books produced by the SBA for their Distance Learning Diploma Course.
Mary Ann started the Diploma Course course in January 2006 and graduated with a Diploma with Distinction in April 2008 which fast tracked her into membership of the Society of Botanical Artists in the UK.
Note: You can read my review of her book Botanical Sketchbook on this website.
Imagine a meeting between an artist from one of the countries with the greatest sensitivity towards the natural world, and an environment providing some of the the richest biodiversity in Europe.
This is what happened when Mary Ann arrived in Italy, the country with the highest number of plant and animal species in the European Union, and began painting the nature around her.
Well known in the UK as a botanical artist, Mary Ann is the author, with Margaret Stevens, of Botanical Sketchbook. Now, in Italy, she is taking on the numerous plant and animal species that surround her. Certainly, in the UK there are no lack of opportunities, but to be able to observe a Night Heron in detail, it is to Italy, and especially to the rice fields around Novara that one must come. And in the same way, if one wants to see a Scops Owl, the smallest of the European owls, it is the Mediterranean area which provides the most opportunities. For the exhibition, “Living Art, nelgiardino di Mary Ann” watercolours have been painted in which observable plants and animals have been described in a very precise and naturalistic way without, however, creating cold, impersonal images that are perhaps more suited to a textbook for the systematic identification of species. Here, on the other hand, every species retains its personality. At times, the subjects are isolated on a white background to emphasise form and colour; at other times a simple setting is provided, taking into account the preferred habitat of each species.
Although some of the watercolours may be seen as “still lives”, life’s movement is more than hinted at.
The nest, discovered on the ground, is described in detail with the elements which compose it; moss, pieces of bark, feathers, down, tell or suggest a story about a pair of small birds which, instinctively or perhaps from experience, have built a structure necessary for their reproduction. Then, who knows what may have happened? Perhaps the young birds had already flown away or perhaps the nest was torn from the branch by a strong gust of wind. We don’t know the rest of the story and therefore we must imagine it. Whatever our reconstruction of events, the fact remains that as an object this nest is beautiful.
We can make similar considerations for all the other subjects depicted in the exhibition. The watercolours give us suggestions without completing the story, leaving it up to us to contextualise according to our personal sensitivities.
All the works, however, emphasise the great beauty of nature. We know that biodiversity is in danger in most of the world. Many of us are using rational
arguments to try and convince those in power to intervene effectively. We know, however, that rational debate frequently fails. Works, such as those presented in the exhibition, might strike other chords; touch, enchant, even trigger irrational mechanisms of fascination in the mind . If such were the case, art would give no less a contribution to the battle for conservation than the most meticulous scientific research. And I write this as a researcher. It may not be impossible that in Italy, thanks to the work of artists like Mary Ann Scott, awareness may grow of the immeasurable
value of our natural heritage.
“The work of historian Colleen Morris is world class. Painted Garden was a complete triumph in terms of the contemporary botanical artworks it collected and then donated to our permanent collection. The other exciting aspect is that we are now working to put on a significant exhibition of a similar nature at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in 2018.”
Director, Science and Conservation Dr. Brett Summerell
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
About BAA News
Awards And Medals
Bloom In The Park
Botanical Art Archives
Botanical Art Blogging
Botanical Art Books
Botanical Art Business
Botanical Art Collection
Botanical Art Education
Botanical Art Exhibition
Botanical Art Group
Botanical Art History
Botanical Art Media
Botanical Art On Social Media
Botanical Art On Television
Botanical Art School
Botanical Art Show
Botanical Art Societies
Botanical Art Stamps
Botanical Art Teachers
Botanical Art Videos
Botanical Painting Techniques
Call For Entries
Diplomas & Certificates
Famous Botanical Artists
Margaret Flockton Award
Paper And Supports
Pen And Ink
Recording Heritage Plants
Selling Botanical Art
Shirley Sherwood Collectiom
Shirley Sherwood Gallery
Society Of Botanical Artists
Tips And Techniques
Who Painted This?
Working In The Field
Worldwide Exhibition Of Botanical Art
News Blog about artists, awards, exhibitions etc.
Please send me .
- news to share
- info. about exhibitions
- any suggestions for what you'd like to see on this website
- Books about Botanical Art History
- History of Botanical Art
- Botanical Art Online
Contact me if you'd like to promote workshops and courses on this site.
This website is free to you but not for me! (See Affiliate Income below)