Highlights slideshow

Browse highlights from our Women artists temporary exhibition currently on show in the Images of Nature gallery.

Garden peonies, Paeonia sp, by Clara Pope

Garden peonies, Paeonia sp, by Clara Pope, bodycolour on card, 1821.

Clara Pope is considered one of the most talented botanical illustrators of the nineteenth century. Her large-scale and bold watercolours of peonies and camellias are incredibly accomplished and continue to be admired by botanical artists today.

Bodycolour is a slightly thicker paint than watercolour.

Horse fly, Tabanus liventipes, by Grace Edwards

Horse fly, Tabanus liventipes, by Grace Edwards, watercolour and ink on paper, c1906.

These small drawing is one of a series produced by Grace Edwards for inclusion in a work on oriental blood-sucking flies by Ernest Austen, an English entomologist whose collections are looked after by the Museum. The work was never published.

Trumpetfish, Aulostomus sp, by Gertrude Norrie

Trumpetfish, Aulostomus sp, by Gertrude Norrie, watercolour on paper, c1900.

Gertrude Norrie, from California, USA, had an excellent eye for depicting marine life. She had a particular interest in fish that inhabit the Hawaiian archipelago, many of which are endemic, found nowhere else on Earth.

The trumpetfish is widespread in tropical waters of western the Atlantic Ocean from, Florida to Brazil.

Emperor penguin embryo, Aptenodytes forsteri, by Dorothy Elizabeth Thursby-Pelham

Emperor penguin embryo, Aptenodytes forsteri, by Dorothy Thursby-Pelham, graphite on paper, c1914.

Dorothy Thursby-Pelham produced this beautiful drawing from one of three embyros collected by Edward Wilson, Henry Robertson Bowers and Apsley Cherry-Garrard in 1911 on the Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica with Robert Falcon Scott.

Comparative morphology cabinet
Permanent artworks

A new permanent cabinet in the gallery focuses on comparative morphology, the science of identifying similarities in species inherited from a common ancestor as well as those that evolved independently. The practice relies heavily on images, and was first developed in the mid-16th century. 

The Museum's first superintendent Richard Owen was one of the fathers of the technique. 

Developments in modern technology have seen a shift from pictorial illustrations towards CT scanning and radiography.

Art, nature and imaging

Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, watercolour from the India collection

Discover how natural history art and imaging techniques have developed since the 17th century and explore selected Museum artworks.

Art, nature and imaging

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Women Artists book

Women Artists book

A beautiful collection of drawings of the natural world by female artists, spanning four centuries.

Buy Women Artists online