Artist Unknown, Unidentified species

Artist Unknown, Unidentified species

Artist Unknown
Unidentified species
About 1760-1825
Watercolour
Museum no. E.1756-1924

In China, at the time these drawings were made, foreigners were confined to the island of Macao and allowed into Canton only when their ships were in port. To obtain drawings of Chinese plants they had to commission native artists often through the agency of the East India Company. They gave the artists examples of European illustrations to copy and trained them in the conventions of Western botanical drawing. Although the Chinese artists were adept copyists, their drawings and watercolours can easily be distinguished from those by European artists. They tend to use a limited number of flat tones which can be seen in the leaves and the two tone flowers on both of these drawings. The unidentified drawing labelled 'beora(?)' has a very distinctive Chinese look with the stalks rendered in fine strokes of different colours. Can you identify this plant?

This drawing can be found in Print Room Box DP3.