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Painting - Purple magnolia

Purple magnolia

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Canton (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1830 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and ink on Chinese paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Exotic flora and fauna was of great interest to British botanists in the 18th and 19th centuries, and such enthusiasm gradually filtered down to the general public. Travellers often returned to Britain with foreign plants and more commonly, paintings depicting numerous species of tropical flowers and fruits. This painting of a purple magnolia is skilfully done and very true to life.

Physical description

The purple magnolia was used medicinally in ancient China, and flower buds were found among the medicinal herbs of the 2nd century BC tomb No.1 of Mawangdui, Changsha. Other names: xinyi and mulan (wood orchid).

Place of Origin

Canton (made)


1800-1830 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and ink on Chinese paper


Height: 37 cm, Width: 28 cm

Descriptive line

Purple magnolia; Pap, China, paintings and drawings

Subjects depicted





East Asia Collection

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