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Botanical Curiosities

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My long time interest in Botanical illustration was recently reinvigorated during a visit to Paris in the Spring. A walk through the magnificent Jardin des Plantes and then to the banks of the Seine to browse the libraries of the print vendors was an absolutely beautiful way to spend a morning. 

Botanical illustrations have for a long time been particularly fascinating to me. Not only are so many of these works incredibly beautiful, but they are also scientifically accurate. They are usually composed in consultation with a scientific author and demonstrate an understanding of plant biology and close observation of actual specimens. They are both academic works and artistic works in one. The best part is that quite often, beautiful prints can be picked up so inexpensively. I paid around 10 euros each for two gorgeous prints this last trip.

I love collecting prints and books depicting botanical art. I find the incredible detail and water colour treatment truly remarkable, and then there’s usually that gorgeous script at the bottom of the illustration which reminds me that a real person has laboured for hours to create this almost photographic work of art. 

Our Zjoosh homewares collection this season includes some beautiful curiosities, trinket boxes, plates and dishes decorated with botanical illustrations. These items make feminine and interesting additions to small vignettes on surfaces in your home. They are the sort of items which make you want to stop and examine them more closely. We’ve also added an abundance of beautiful faux floral stems which are works of art in and of themselves in their striking resemblances to fresh blooms.

I feel as though there has been a resurgence of interest in botanical illustration over the past little while and I think this is most likely due to an increasing interest in the changes occurring in the natural world, and in the central role plants play in maintaining healthy ecosystems. I’ve noticed a sudden burst of roof gardens and vertical gardens in the city, and there is a real resurgence in the popularity of house plants. I’m obsessed with mine and it follows naturally that the ideal subject matter for artwork we love should be the plant life we are so keenly interested in.

 

I’ve always preferred more figurative artworks to abstract art and therefore plant and flower depiction as wall art is a perfect fit for me. Plus, it is scientifically proven, that fresh flowers really do increase one’s happiness, so it stands to reason that the accurate depiction of flowers in art does just the same thing. 

By Kellie Rigney - Founder & Creative Director of ZJOOSH

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  • Rebecca Taylor