Victoriaans levenswerk

832 (botanische) schilderijen van Marianne North (1830-1890)
in de Marianne North Gallery Kew Gardens, Londen

Marianne NorthNet als bij de lange reeks aquarellen die Carl Ferdinand von Kügelgen (1772-1832) in opdracht van de Russische tsaar maakte, kan ik voor het werk van Marianne North niets anders dan mateloze bewondering hebben. Voornamelijk voor haar discipline. Marianne North schilderde 13 jaar lang gemiddeld 64 uiterst gedetailleerde en arbeidsintensieve schilderijen per jaar. En dat allemaal keurig in een consistente stijl. Net zoals Von Kügelgen. De opdrachtgever wist zo precies wat-ie kreeg. Vanuit artistiek oogpunt kun je dergelijke titanenarbeid schamperig wegzetten als ‘meer van hetzelfde’ of ‘dertien in een dozijn’. Maar ik kijk soms liever naar 1 kilometer transpiratie dan naar 1 millimeter inspiratie.

een reis om de wereld
in 13 jaar en 832 schilderijen
Marianne North
Street in Ajmere
and Gate of the Daghar Mosque
Marianne North English naturalist and flower-painter, was born at Hastings, the eldest daughter of a Norfolk landowner, descended from Roger North. She trained as a vocalist under Madame Sainton-Dolby, but her voice failed, and she then devoted herself to painting flowers. After the death of her mother in 1855 she constantly travelled with her father, who was then member of parliament for Hastings; and on his death in 1869 she resolved to realize her early ambition of painting the flora of distant countries. Marianne North‘s painting of Nepenthes northiana, showing a lower and an upper pitcher.
Marianne North Gallery
interieur van de Marianne North Gallery
Kew Gardens Londen
In 1871-1872 with this object she went to Canada, the United States and Jamaica, and spent a year in Brazil, where she did much of her work at a hut in the depths of a forest. In 1875, after a few months at Tenerife, she began a journey round the world, and for two years was occupied in painting the flora of California, Japan, Borneo, Java and Ceylon. The year 1878 she spent in India, and after her return she exhibited a number of her drawings in London. Her subsequent offer to present the collection to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and to erect a gallery for their reception, was accepted, and the new buildings, designed by James Ferguson, were begun in the same year. Kew Gardens is divided into three sections, east, west, and north; the North Gallery is in the east section.
Marianne North
A Clearing in the Forest of Tji Boddas, Java
with bank of Tree Ferns

Marianne NorthMarianne North was a remarkable Victorian artist who travelled the globe in order to satisfy her passion for recording the world’s flora with her paintbrush. The result of these epic journeys can be seen in the Marianne North Gallery at Kew, where tier upon tier of brightly coloured paintings of flowers, landscapes, animals and birds are arranged. There are 832 paintings, all completed in 13 years of travel round the world.

Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens
Marianne North [ ]