MARIAN ELLIS ROWAN exhibition continues through September.
Marian Ellis Rowan (1848 – 1922) was a remarkable woman, who blurred the lines between fine art and natural history illustration with artworks characterised not only by their detailed accuracy but also her own compositional charm and touches of dramatic interest, such as the inclusion of insects, adding more life, narrative interest and sense of scale.
This artwork (Blue Flowers, possibly Scaevola Basedowii) is indicative of her passion for depicting the flora of Western Australia, where she visited in 1880 and again in 1906. Scaevola derive from the hot and arid outback and is also known as the fan flower due to its petals. Ellis Rowan tended to use coloured paper for her artworks and this more centrally placed display of the spidery network of branches juxtaposed with the delicate small blue flowers, suggests it is from earlier in her career, coinciding with her visits to WA.
This celebrated and prolific artist with her reputation for painting wildflowers is represented in many public collections including significant holdings at:
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
National Herbarium, Melbourne
National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
National Library of Australia
National Trust of Australia
Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art
Royal Botanic Gardens, Adelaide
With thanks to the staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne for expert advice regarding identification.
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