Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Botanical Art by Female Artists

I very much hope that you're not tired of my flower themed posts just yet because here comes another one. It's dedicated to some beautiful botanical art by some very talented women.

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was a German artist, naturalist, and publisher. Her vivid, detailed and dramatic watercolors turned into engravings were highly prized both as exquisite pieces of art as well as works of great scientific merit. They were also used for pattern books on painting and embroidery, and Merian herself taught embroidery, which endears her to me even more.

You can see more of her work here

Another prominent 17th century botanical artist is Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750). With a botanist for a father, it is not at all strange that this Dutch artist turned her mind to painting sumptuous bouquets of flowers. Ruysch's work is very detailed, with strong vivid colors against a dark background.  

Flowers in a Glass Vase,1705-1715, Rachel Ruysch 

Flowers in a Terracotta Vase, 1723, Rachel Ruysch 

A Spray of Flowers, unknown date, Rachel Ruysch

You can see more of Ruysch's painting here

Marianne North (1830-1890) was a Victorian biologist and artist who led a pretty unconventional life for a woman of her time. She traveled extensively, often alone and spent her time hunting for flowers and plants all over the world which she then turned into painting of unprecedented beauty. 

Amatungula in Flower and Fruit and Blue Ipomoea, South Africa, Marianne North 

Various Species of Hibiscus, with Tecoma and Barleria, Marianne North 

A South African Sundew and Associate, Marianne North

You can see a lot more of North's art here, and if you're interested to know about her, check out this article. And you want to enjoy her art live, you have every opportunity as she has a permanent exhibition in the Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens, London. 

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