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Drawing - Oswego Tea-plant
  • Oswego Tea-plant
    Ehret, Georg Dionysus, born 1708 - died 1770
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Oswego Tea-plant

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    London (painted)

  • Date:

    about 1740 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ehret, Georg Dionysus, born 1708 - died 1770 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour, bodycolour and gold leaf on vellum

  • Museum number:

    D.588-1886

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case DP, shelf 2, box B

This watercolour seems to have been an isolated attempt by Ehret to imitate the style of the 'velins du roi', the great collection of botanical and animal portraits on vellum begun under Gaston d'Orléans, the younger brother of Louis XIII of France. Until his visit to Paris in the winter of 1734-5 to see the collection, Ehret had always painted on paper. However the studies he sent to his patron Christoph Trew, the Nuremberg botanist and physician, during his stay at the Jardin Royal des Plantes, were, as Trew noted in his memoir, painted on 'pergament' (vellum). The image was reused by Christoph Jacob Trew for his book Plantae selectae.

Physical description

Botanical study showing stem, leaves, two red-orange flower heads, and one unopened bud surrounded by a border in gold-leaf.

Place of Origin

London (painted)

Date

about 1740 (painted)

Artist/maker

Ehret, Georg Dionysus, born 1708 - died 1770 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour, bodycolour and gold leaf on vellum

Marks and inscriptions

G.D. Ehret. pinxt.
Signature; date; handwriting; ink, lower right

Leonurus Canadensii Origani folio. Tourn.
Ink, lower centre

Dimensions

Height: 52.8 cm, Width: 36.6 cm

Descriptive line

Botanical study, watercolour drawing of an Oswego Tea-plant or Bergamot, Monarda didyma, Georg Dionysius Ehret, about 1740, made in London; British.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Gill Saunders. Picturing Plants: An Analytical History of Botanical Illustration (Zwemmer/V&A, London, 1995), p.10, ill. in colour

Labels and date

Georg Dionysius Ehret 1708-70
Oswego Tea-plant (Monarda didyma L.)
About 1740

This watercolour seems to have been an isolated attempt by Ehret to imitate the style of the 'velins du roi', the great collection of botanical and animal portraits on vellum begun under Gaston d'Orléans, the younger brother of Louis XIII of France. The image was reused by the Nuremberg botanist and physician Christoph Jacob Trew for his book Plantae selectae.

London
Watercolour, bodycolour and gold leaf on vellum
V&A: D.588-1886 [2011]

Subjects depicted

Oswego Tea-plant; Flower; Plant

Categories

Gardens & Gardening; Science; Drawings; Illustration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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