PETER BROWN (FL. 1758-1799)
Twelve botanical studies of exotic plants: Limonium sinuatum statice with peacock butterfly, Nicotiana tabacum tobacco, Camellia japonica camellia, Hippeastrum vittatum striped amaryllis, Passiflora quadrangularis granadilla, Clematis florida 'Plena' double white clematis, Canna indica Indian shot, Asclepias curassavica milkweed, Cotyledon orbiculata, Lychnis miqueliana, Sprekelia formosissima. Aztek lily
nine signed 'P. Brown' (lower left)
pencil, watercolour and bodycolour heightened with gum arabic on vellum
1212 x 934 in. (31.7 x 24.8 cm.) and slightly smaller; and two by Philippa Crabtree (b. 1764), Arbutus Unedo strawberry tree, signed 'Philippa Crabtree.' (lower right) and inscribed 'Arbutus. Alnedo.' (lower left); and Narcissus tazetta narcissus soleil d'or
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Lot Essay

Peter Brown, botanical and natural history artist, may have studied under Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708-70), whose style is similar. Following in the botanical tradition, he painted in watercolour on vellum, as its smooth surface allowed very fine detail and gave a realistic sheen to leaves and petals.
Brown taught a number of aristocrats before being appointed Botanical Painter to the Prince of Wales in 1784. He was also patronised by Lord Bute, who advised on the development of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and it is possible that he painted these and other botanical watercolours there. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1770 to 1791.
Philippa Crabtree was a pupil of Brown, and these works are after drawings by him.
We are very grateful to Dr Martyn Dix, editor of Curtis's Botanical Magazine and Fiona Ainsworth of Kew Gardens for their help in identifying these plants.
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