The V&A is very civilized and has small folding stools which can be used by artists who have come to draw. Partway through the visit my feet gave out and so I sat on my V&A stool and did a very quick (unfinished) pencil sketch of a palampore in the South Asia (Nehru) Gallery - which is in Room 41. And no - I didn't know what a palampore was either! Mind you I wouldn't mind in the least if I had a nice bit of hand painted chintz from India c.1700 as a bed-hanging.
What I noticed particularly on this visit is the extent to which plants are used as motifs in both realistic and abstract forms. When I got home I studied the website and doing a search on the term 'flowers' produces 2,211 items in the museums's various collections. As a result, I think I'm going to make studies of a number of plant motifs on my SGFA drawing day at the V&A next week.
Here's my list of things to look out for - and this is just based on the things we saw yesterday!
- vine leaves in Abbasid style (Iraq 750--850)
- Acanthus leaves in the Spanish Umayid style (Spain 750-1031)
- Chinese lotus leaves in Ilkhanid style (Iran 1250-1350)
- abstract plant forms in the Nasrid style (Spain 1300 -1450)
- garden flowers and floral fantasies in Ottoman art (1299 -1923) see also Ottoman Empire
- floral fantasies in Safavid art (Iran 1500-1722)
- floral themes in Qajar style (Iran 1790 to 1900)
- botanical studies (and European influences) in Mughal painting 1550-1650 (Mughal Empire - Indian sub-continent 1526 - 1857)
- floral paintings and themes in Sikh painting (Panjab, India )
- flowers in Isnik pottery (Anatolia 17th century)
- natural motifs in Japanese art
- plants in Palissy ware (Europe 16th-17th Centuries)
- plants in Maijolica (Europe late 18th - 19th centuries)
- the influence of plants on William Morris wallpaper, tiles and textiles
- Victoria and Albert Museum, London
- Society of Graphic Fine Art (SGFA)
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York