Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Photograph - Papaver Orientale
  • Papaver Orientale
    Atkins, Anna, born 1799 - died 1871
  • Enlarge image

Papaver Orientale

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1852-1854 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Atkins, Anna, born 1799 - died 1871 (photographers)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2A, shelf DR104, box LOANS

As a botanist and early photographer, Anna Atkins quickly realised the benefit of using the cyanotype process to record specimens of plant life, such as this poppy. Cyanotype was invented by the astronomer Sir John Herschel in 1842. The following year, Atkins became the first person to print and publish a photographically illustrated book, British Algae, Cyanotype Impressions, part 1. To make a ‘photogram’ with the cyanotype process, the photographer laid an object on paper impregnated with iron salts, then exposed the paper to sunlight for a few minutes. When washed in water, the area where the plant had blocked the light remained white, but the area that was exposed came out a rich blue.

Physical description

Blue and white photographic image (photogram) of a poppy

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1852-1854 (made)


Atkins, Anna, born 1799 - died 1871 (photographers)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 35 cm, Width: 24.2 cm

Descriptive line

Cyanotype print of a poppy.



Subjects depicted

Flower; Poppy




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.