Marian Ellis Rowan

Fungi by Marian Ellis Rowan


Marian Ellis Rowan
watercolour on silk
19 cm diam.

signed lower left: Ellis Rowan

Related Work:

The National Library of Australia holds a series of images of fungi by Ellis Rowan.


Stock Number

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Further Information

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 celebrated and prolific artist with her reputation for painting wildflowers travelled to Papua New Guinea in 1916 and 1917, travelling through the jungle aged in her sixties and creating numerous artworks depicting the exotic flora and fauna. In 1918 Ellis Rowan held an exhibition at the Fine Art Society Melbourne featuring her works from Papua New Guinea, including 172 flowers, 40 birds of paradise, 72 fungi, 2 coral, a bat, a squirrel and a fish. It was noted that, “The artist is proud of her mushroom collection, only one of her specimens being known to science.” (The Sun, 13 March 1918 as cited in Fullerton, P. The Flower Hunter Ellis Rowan, National Library of Australia, 2002, p.14)

Ellis Rowan is represented in many public collections including significant holdings at the National Library of Australia and the Queensland Museum; as well as the National Gallery of Australia; the National Gallery of Victoria; the Art Gallery of New South Wales; Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art; the Art Gallery of Western Australia; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Adelaide; the National Herbarium, Melbourne; the National Trust of Australia; the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

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