"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Leaf of the Day: Catching up..and a Leonardo moment.

Well .. I´m back in Florida and catching up on all the notes and drawings and postings from my UK trip. I managed to incorporate Kew Gardens, West Dean, Lincolnshire, London, relatives, and friends old and new, and made a few drawings too. The courses were excellent, the countryside was beautiful, all the exhibitions were inspirational and the weather was kind.. what more could you ask.
I have quite a few posts to make so I apologise in advance to my readers if your inbox gets a bit clogged..

On Saturday I had returned to the Amazing Rare Things Exhibition at Buckingham Palace to have another look at the beautiful work of the natural history artists chosen from the Queen's collection. This time I took the audio guide which is included in the price of the ticket and is well worth the listen. It really puts everything in context and having David Attenborough with you, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm would surely persuade even the staunchest abstract artist to appreciate the skill and beauty of these paintings. While I was looking again at the tiny detailed Leonardo drawings made in red chalk I noticed that on the drawing of the Star of Bethlehem, which dominates the page, there is a little sketch of a euphorbia, sun spurge.. just like the ones I had drawn only 5 days previously here .. A strange coincidence from a distance of 500 years and while mine cannot be compared, its nice to think we both found this funny little plant worth a quick study.

These were apparently made as studies for plants to be included in the lost painting of "Leda and the Swan".
This, one of 2 known copies,is from the Borghese gallery in Rome dated approximately 1510 to 1520. It is impossible to see if there are in fact any euphorbia amongst the flowers at the base of the painting I guess I will just have to go to Rome to see for myself.



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Leondardo's Euphorbia ( and mine)















Star of Bethlehem, Wood Anemone and Sun Spurge c 1505-1511















a detail....







and mine ...