Botanical art enthusiasts in Italy can visit the Florentia International Exhibition of Botanical Art (29th September - 7th October 2018).
It's the first international exhibition of contemporary botanical art in Florence. It will showcase
Title: Florentia International Exhibition of Botanical Art
Venue: Villa Bardini, Costa S. Giorgio, 2-4, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Dates: September 29 - October 7, 2018
Opening hours: 10.00am - 7.00pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Free entry on the first Sunday of the month.
Sponsors: Società Toscana di Orticultura/Tuscan Horticultural Society - on the occasion of the traditional "Autumn and Plant Market Exhibition"
Purpose of the Exhibition
Florentia is intended as an opportunity to foster collaboration and sharing between participating artists, raise awarness of this artistic genre and demonstrate the contemporary botanical art renewed vitality, especially in Florence, in the wake of an ancient and prestigious tradition.
In the Medicean Florence, thanks to the interest of the Grand Dukes both for botany and art, great artists such as Jacopo Ligozzi and Giovanna Garzoni, were called to represent, in beautiful watercolor and gouache, the best of the floral and fruit crops and the most precious medicinal plants.
The Florentia exhibition is co-organized by two Tuscan botanical artists:
Selected Italian Artists for 'A Flourishing Heritage – Portraits of Italian Flora' (Botanical Art Worldwide #8)
The artwork has been selected for A Flourishing Heritage – Portraits of Italian Flora - the Italian contribution to the the Botanical Art Worldwide initiative taking place in May 2018.
Below you can find:
A Flourishing Heritage – Portraits of Italian Flora
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.
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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