Chinese art and the Reeves Collection

Images of Nature

Judith Magee

Chinese art and the Reeves Collection is a selection of some of the finest examples of Chinese natural history drawings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many of which have never been published before.

ISBN:
978 0 565 09283 2
Format:
Paperback
Price:
£12.99
Published:
March 2011
Size:
253 x 216 mm
Extent:
112 pp
Illustrations:
Over 100 colour illustrations
Publisher:
Natural History Museum

Details

The book brings together a unique collection of botanical, zoological and entomological drawings depicting the natural history of China. Commissioned and collected during the early nineteenth century by John Reeves and his son, and now housed in the Museum, these outstanding images are important not only for their striking beauty but also for their scientific significance.

Sent to China in 1812, John Reeves was a tea inspector for the East India Company and a keen amateur naturalist who commissioned hundreds of scientific drawings from local artists, which were then sent to Britain. Despite often being highly stylised, the images helped to further European knowledge of Chinese natural history during a time when access to the country was severely restricted. 

Through their dedicated and enthusiastic work, Reeves and his son helped pave the way for some of the great explorers and collectors that followed.

The book is published to tie in with a new temporary art display in a major new art gallery opening at the Museum on 21 January 2011.

See inside

Look inside this book to get an idea of its content.  

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection

Pages from Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection.

Author

Judith Magee has managed the art collections of the Library of the Natural History Museum, London, for over 10 years. 

She is the author of Art of Nature and The Art and Science of William Bartram and has contributed to several other books including Plant Discoveries: A Botanist’s Voyage Through Plant Exploration and TheGreat Naturalists.

Exhibition

The Images of Nature gallery showcases the Museum's world-famous collection of natural history artworks. 

Prints, watercolours and paintings from eminent natural history artists such as the prolific bird illustrator, John Gerrard Keulemans and accomplished botanical artist, Georg Ehret, feature in the collection. Alongside this historic body of work are modern images created by scientists, imaging specialists, photographers and micro-CT scanners. Highlights among these are tiny, intriguing scientific images of stained-glass-like meteorite slices and a 3D scan of a shark head.

Each year the Images of Nature gallery includes a temporary exhibition of themed artworks. 

Library

The Library of the Natural History Museum is a repository for one of the most exciting and comprehensive collections of natural history literature and artworks to be found anywhere in the world. 

It holds over half a million artworks, comprising one of Britain’s biggest art collections and representing all the great natural history artists, and many thousands of books, including some richly illustrated volumes of great historical significance.

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