Nelumbo lutea by Bartram

William Bartram (1739-1823)
Nelumbo lutea Willd., American Lotus or Water Chinquapin
Dionaea muscipula J.Ellis (Droseraceae), Venus Flytrap
Ardea herodias Linnaeus, Great Blue Heron , [1767].
Pen and ink on paper, 398 x 300 mm.

William Bartram was the son of the Quaker farmer and nurseryman John Bartram (1699-1777). Like his father, William became an excellent botanist and plant collector. A very skilled artist, many of his drawings illustrate the plants and animals in context, showing the inter-relationship and dependency between species.

This drawing is one of Bartram’s more extraordinary and imaginative canvasses in the placement and disparity of scale of the subjects. It manages to capture one aspect of his view of nature as predatory and consuming while maintaining a balanced beauty.

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