Description

    One of the Most Striking Flower Plates
    Printed in England

    Robert John Thornton (1768-1837). "The Dragon Arum" Hand Finished and Color-Printed Mezzotint Engraved by William Ward After a Work by Peter Henderson. London: "published by Dr. Thornton Dec. 1, 1801". Plate size 13.75 x 20 inches; sheet size 18.25 x 23 inches. Excellent condition. This beautiful plate comes from Part III, The Temple of Flora (1799-1807) of Thornton's New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnæus. "Although it is in reality an innocuous plant which loves a patch of sandy loam on the sunny side of a south-facing wall, and will do you no harm unless you eat the berries, our ancestors regarded the Dragon Arum with horror. This aversion arose, no doubt, partly because of the poisonous nature of the berries, [and] partly because of its sinister appearance...Peter Henderson does his best to convey the feeling in this picture, in which black and threatening clouds brood over the hills and mountains while the dark and noisome plant thrusts its unwholesome menace up from below." (Ronald King. The Temple of Flora by Robert Thornton . 1981, page 90]. This example the third state of three of this plate from the Temple of Flora . "First state: the sky at the right has a definite mountain peak between the storm clouds which are carried across the top of the plate. Second state: the top half of the plate has added mezzotint... The dark cloud at the top reaches to about the middle of the plate. Third state: added aquatint in foreground and middle distance. The sky on the right is pierced with flashes of lightning, and the mountain has become an erupting volcano with small clouds round its base. The sky at the top is brighter and coloured yellow." (Handasyde Buchanan. Thornton's Temple of Flora , London, 1951, page 18).

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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