Echinops Ruthenicus or Russian Globe Thistle

chrisrob

Bend, United States

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Artist's Description

Reproduction of Echinops Ruthenicus in Benjamin Maund’s Botanic Garden published in London in 1843.
This is one of four plants shown on the illustration page. Each plant image in the original is only 2.4×3.1 inches and requires a magnifying glass to see the quality of the detail. The black ink was applied to the paper from a copper engraving: the colour was done by skilled artists who used water-colour paints to paint each image individually in each copy of the book. This made each image a unique creation.
Introduced to London in 1816 from Russia.
Maund wrote:
“The name Echinops, is deduced from the greek ECHINOS, a hedgehog; and OPSIS, resemblance. The likeness of the round prickly heads of the plant, to the animal. is evident enough to the sense, either of seeing or feeling, particularly the latter, when some of the species are meddled with…It’s foliage too – green above and white beneath, although somewhat thistly, produces a pleasing effect…
The Echinops is a compound flower; that is, it has numerous little florets, on a common receptacle, and enclosed within a calyx which belongs equally to the whole.”
In the original, the blue globe is only 1.25 inches across

Artwork Comments

  • T Pryke
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