Jessica Tcherepnine GM was generally regarded as an outstanding botanical artist. She passed away, age 80, after a long illness on New Year's Eve.
'Her work is intense as well as being decorative and scientifically accurate"
Jessica Elizabeth Tcherepnine was English by birth but lived in the USA for 55 years.
She was born on 4th May 1938 in Sussex and was the daughter of William Barclay Harris and Elizabeth Milnes Coates. However she had lived and worked in New York for the last 50+ years. She met Peter Tcherepnine in New York and married him in 1973. They lived in their Manhattan apartment and their farm near Millbrook, NY, where she had her garden.
In terms of career, she started work at Christie's in London in the Furniture Department. She then moved to Christies in New York and worked with John Richardson. Latterly she worked mainly for its Oriental Department.
In 1982, she left Christies to start painting. In fact, she started painting flowers at her home in Sussex at a very young age. She was essentially self-taught, although her art education did include four months studying drawing in Florence under Signora Simi (1890-1987).
Her garden provided her with specimens for some of her watercolour paintings. Other paintings of exotic tropical plants were developed as a result of multiple visits to the island of Nevis in the West Indies.
Her artistic practice
Fortunately due to a couple of articles we have the artist's voice to speak as to her practice and approach to botanical art.
Great Flower Books 1700-1900
My final Christmas present turned up today - Great Flower Books 1700-1900 came complete with its customs declaration as it came from the USA.
It's a comprehensive Bibliographical Record of two Centuries of finely-illustrated Flower Books by Sacheverell Sitwell & Wilfrid Blunt. It's the sort of book which will keep me occupied with more research of botanical art for YEARS! I'm guessing it's only other serious researchers who will appreciate why it gives me so much pleasure!
I didn't know until just recently that there are two versions of the book.
The first edition was published by Collins in London in 1956.
The second edition was published by Atlantic Monthly Press in New York in 1990.
The bonus of the second one is that they very much improved the quality of the images included in the publication. However almost all copies are located in the USA - hence the need to import.
'Great Flower Books' is very much a collaborative endeavour with essays by
The Title and Contents pages identify who did what in this collaborative endeavour with
I'll be consulting and reading it with some reverence for those who put the book together.
I have in fact got to the point with book-buying now where almost everything I buy is second hand -
In fact, the first thing I do when I get a 'new' book is to go straight to its bibliography to see what books it lists as resources - so as to see if I can find any new ones I've not read!
So the notion of buying a book, the bulk of which is essentially a bibliography does not strike me as too strange!
I've come across all sorts of small joys by studying the bibliographies in books and academic journals
The exhibition The Florilegium: The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney opened at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery at Kew Gardens on 31 March and continues until 16th September 2018.
This is the second exhibition of this very impressive collection of watercolour paintings by members of The Florilegium: The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.
Click here for the list of Florilegium paintings and artists
It's a companion exhibition to Down Under II: Works from the Shirley Sherwood Collection which is a smaller exhibition of drawings and paintings of native Australian and New Zealand plants created by local and international artists - also on until 16th September - and also recommended by me.
Both are related to the reopening of The Temperate House in Kew Gardens - and a number of the paintings have an icon to indicate that the plants can be found in the Temperate House.
All the images in this post are of The Florilegium: The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney exhibition - and contributing artists.
This week, there's an opportunity on Saturday 14 July, 10.30am-12.30pm to meet/greet Angela Lober, whose work is in the Shirley Sherwood Collection and on display as part of The Florilegium: Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. (Angela is also exhibiting at the RHS Botanical Art Show this week)
Her very impressive Video: Painting a Norfolk Island Pine for the RBG Sydney Florilegium (made for the original exhibition) is also playing in the Gallery as part of the exhibition.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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