It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Mutis Collection and The Old and New South American Art

Last week I had the opportunity to see parts of the magnificent iconographic collection of the Royal Botanical Expedition to the New Kingdom of Granada. This collection is held in the Archives of the Real Jardin Botanico (CSIC) in Madrid and consists of 5607 plates in addition to over thousand anatomies and as many nature prints (Eptitas) and some 500 drawings. 3089 of the plates are in tempera and the remaining 2000+ pieces either in black ink or sepia ink. It is wonderful to see how well these paintings are preserved and how bright the colors still are. (All the paintings are digitalized and accessible through the internet, please click here)
This collection was first published in 1952 and exhibited for the very first time outside Spain in 2010: At the moment more than 60 plates are exhibited in the Kew Gardens at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. Shirley Sherwood also published a new book about this exhibit and the Mutis collection. The book is highly recommended and you can get lots of information what has been unknown for many of us living outside of Spain. For more information please click here.
(One of the Mutis - plates shipped to Spain from Colombia in 1816, photo MHjK)

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