After visiting the RHS London Botanical Art & Photography Show in Chelsea on Tuesday (of which more later), I walked down to Chelsea Barracks to see what I think might be the first display in London of all the paintings completed for the Highgrove Florilegium (Volumes 1 and 2) since 2009.
“The Highgrove Florilegium: Watercolours Depicting Plants Grown in The Garden at Highgrove” is only on until Sunday 26th September. It's also very easy to access for those visiting the Chelsea Show. The paintings are hung in the former Guards Chapel in the former Chelsea Barracks - now known as the Garrison Chapel - which is now owned by The Prince's Foundation Trust - hence the location of the exhibit.
I cannot recommend this exhibition too much. The quality of the paintings is excellent.
In fact, this is a much better exhibition of contemporary botanical art than the current RHS Botanical Art Show.
To my mind, it's also a much better exhibition than the original one twelve years ago, which was in a very small space in the Garden Museum at Lambeth Palace. (See my original review of the exhibition Exhibition Review: The Highgrove Florilegium at the Garden Museum (14th July 2009)
This time there's much more focus on the paintings and much less on the book - which is nowhere to be seen!
The big bonus of this exhibition is that the space is large and the paintings have been hung according to the different "rooms" of the garden where the subject plants were located. As such, it's a much better representation of the garden at Highgrove - which, of course, is what a florilegium is intended to do.
The paintings also look excellent on the green walls and they benefit from both natural light and additional lighting but both are up high so there's some reflection but not too much.
The Highgrove Florilegium is the first Royal Florilegium in the UK. It contains botanically accurate watercolour paintings of the plants grown in the garden of Highgrove near Tetbury in Gloucestershire - which has been the country home of the Prince of Wales since 1980.
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