10" x 8", coloured pencils on HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I'd very much recommend this exhibition and microsite to anybody interested in botanical art and/or drawing animals and particularly wildlife. Works included are by:
Leonardo da Vinci
The unifying theme of Leonardo’s researches was an urge to understand the phenomena of nature. This would allow the artist to create a true image of the world, and indeed some of Leonardo’s most beautiful drawings of plants and animals were studies for his paintings and sculptures. (Royal Collection: Amazing Rare Things website)Check out the images he drew of cats, lions and a dragon!
The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo
Cassiano dal Pozzo (1583-1657) was secretary to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, the nephew of Pope Urban VIII, and he played an important role in the cultural life of Baroque Rome........... Cassiano did not produce the drawings himself; instead he commissioned artists to make meticulous studies of geological specimens, plants, fruit and vegetables, fungi, birds, fish and other animals, some of which were made with the newly-invented microscope. (Royal Collection: Amazing Rare Things website)Alexander Marshal
Alexander Marshal (c.1620-1682) was one of a circle of gentleman gardeners, centred on London, for whom the cultivation of rare plants was essential to the study of the natural world...... Over a period of thirty years Marshal compiled a ‘florilegium’ (flower book) of 154 folios recording plants growing in English gardens. Of the numerous species depicted, many are exotic newcomers; others are native plants. Although Marshal was not a professional artist, his florilegium - the only English flower book to survive from the period - contains some of the most beautiful plant studies in botanical art (Royal Collection: Amazing Rare Things website)Maria Sibylla Merian
Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was one of the greatest artist-naturalists of her time. at the age of fifty-two, Merian made an expedition to Surinam (Dutch Guiana) in South America. Her aim was to study the indigenous flora and fauna in their tropical habitat........
Most of Merian’s watercolours displayed here are de luxe versions (painted on vellum) of the plates of the Metamorphosis, together with some works produced independently of that publication. (Royal Collection: Amazing Rare Things website)
The English naturalist Mark Catesby (1682-1749) compiled the first comprehensive survey of the flora and fauna of south-eastern North America (then part of the British colonies)......The exhibition is currently on display at The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh 2 March – 16 September 2007 and in 2008 will then move to The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London (14 March - 28 September 2008).
Believing that ‘artistic’ techniques of shading and perspective compromised objective truth, Catesby used instead what he termed ‘a Flat, tho’ exact manner’ to make a precise visual record of each creature and plant. (Royal Collection: Amazing Rare Things website)
You can order and buy the exhibition catalogue from the Royal Collection online shop.
Note: The image at the top is of the interior landscape of a pale blue iris. One for the Georgia O'Keeffe project - but I think I need to try simplifying and making images more sculptural and abstract.
- Amazing Rare Things - The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery David Attenborough, Susan Owens, Martin Clayton and Rea Alexandratos. 224 pages, 160 colour illustrations 20 x 25cm (8" x 10"). Hardback - ISBN 978 1 902163 46 8; Softback - ISBN 978 1 902163 99 4