I have recently become totally obsessed with botanical prints. I love them for so many reasons, such as the incredible detail, the vast variety, the decorating possibilities and on and on… I wanted to share not only a very small sampling of various themes, but also a few examples of how to work them into your decorating. Some of the photos are mine others have been Pinterest sourced, I’ll identify my photos the rest are Pinterest photo credit unknown.
In doing my research, I had to, of course, include the Audubon series which featured the worlds most expensive book. Lucky us that facsimiles are available to us, many many books on Audubon and you can visit his charming home in Mill Grove, Pennsylvania as well as the informative www.audubon.orgsite. The following is taken from the site.
“Audubon’s place in history was assured by the way in which he forever changed how birds were illustrated. While replicating physical features with uncanny veracity, he incorporated narrative elements and aesthetic touches that not only made birds come alive in their natural environments, but also lifted the images to the status of fine art.
His famous Birds of America stands out as Audubon’s crowning achievement. These 453 life-sized paintings of north American birds were remarkable for their accuracy of color and realism. After the publication of Birds of America, Audubon issued a highly successful, smaller 7-volume octavo edition. He also compiled an important work documenting mammals; The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. That collection comprised 150 hand-colored lithographs in 3 volumes.
In addition to his artistic talents, Audubon was a prolific writer. His journals and Bird Biographies documented his observations of the land that he traveled during the first half of the 19th century, as well as the people of the emerging American nation.”
Since we are headers into the dead of winter….here is a bit of Spring. We can either wait for our forced bulbs to bloom inside or push their heads up through the ground in a few months or we can enjoy their beauty all year round with a botanical!
One of my all time favorites is Pierre-Joseph Redouté, “who was a painter and botanist from Belgium, known for his watercolours of roses, lilies and other flowers at Malmaison. He was nicknamed “the Raphael of flowers” and has been called the greatest botanical illustrator of all time”. Cited….Wikipedia
My apologies for the glare and my elbow, but I wanted to share this with you. Eight vintage Redoute prints hung on Ralph Lauren rose patterned wallpaper (also the duvet) in a guest bedroom in a Harbor Country estate. Love the impact of the symmetry of the rose prints against the coordinating wallpaper,
While doing research for this post I found one of the first and highly regarded botanical print illustrators was a woman (as were her daughters!), “Maria Sibylla Merian, also known as Anna Maria Sibylla, (born April 2, 1647, Frankfurt am Main [Germany]—died January 13, 1717, Amsterdam, Netherlands), German-born naturalist and nature artist known for her illustrations of insects and plants. Her works on insect development and the transformation of insects through the process of metamorphosis contributed to the advance of entomology in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.” From the Encyclopedia Britannica website.
Butterfly prints en masse. Image from Pinterest.
I have found many superb examples of this extraordinary art form at the Randolph Street Market in many of the diverse vendor collections and make it a point to pour over the amazing pieces in PAPER PATTY’S Booth, it was always my first stop at the monthly RSM, which is currently on hiatus. My photos are all from Patty’s vast collection all incredibly priced. She loves to tell the story behind each of her treasures….but that is true of every vendor at the wonderland of curiosities that is RSM!
Here are a couple from her fern grouping, the first from my art collection…I have kept it unframed and next to my desk so I can enjoy it while working.
Bird nests… mad for all the detail, but quite frankly that is what botanicals are all about.
Then, of course, some birds….these three images found on Pinterest.
The next three taken by me.
For some unknown reason, at the moment, owls are appealing to me whether a botanical or photograph, you might check my Pinterest owl board, who knew there were so many different owls in the world, not me, for sure. Absolutely fascinating. The images below mine from PAPER PATTY’S.
Make a wall an inspiration board, easy to change as the mood suits you.
More inspiration…I might also suggest using inexpensive botanicals as gift wrap tied with twine or use to decoupage boxes or a piece of furniture like I did….but that is a story I’ll save for another time!!
Collecting botanical prints can be narrowed down to one subject or perhaps many…I would suggest you group your collections by category or color or theme…oh why not just play with your treasures. As always I have included some book suggestions. My best advice when starting or adding to your collections buy what you like and buy it when you see it. Let’s not ever have buyers remorse! Enjoy the journey…
All photos unless otherwise noted from Pinterest credits unknown.
EXCLUSIVELY FOR RANDOLPH STREET MARKET BY NENA IVON, REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION