Menelaus or Silver Blue Butterfly.

British Isles: c. 1810. Gouache on China paper, mounted onto Cornish & Bond * Extra London Board with pencil notation. (6 x 6.75 inches, 152 x 171 mm). A rare original early nineteenth century watercolor painting of the Menelaus or Silver Blue Butterfly. The painting has been tipped onto ecru board of the period, yet the colors remain vibrant and rich. Although the artist of this brilliant study remains unknown, his or her technique and refined skill at handling this challenging medium is evident. An exacting eye and subtle use of color were the hallmarks of a trained student. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the art of natural history painting was an essential and favored skill for all well-bred gentlewomen. Clearly painted by an impassioned and experienced "armchair naturalist", who sought inspitation from the pletheral of bound volumes documenting the natural world of the day. Here the inspiration for this lovely composition was none other than George Shaw & Frederick P. Nodder's coveted engravings from The Naturalist's Miscellany. (London c. 1790-1813), and for this original study, was adapted with considerable skill and attention to refined detailing and coloration. Period pencil notation on card stock documents the name and origin of specimen; "Menelaus or Silver Blue Butterfly. Native of South America" Fine condition. Item #3207

Price: $425.00

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