HOOLA VAN NOOTEN, After Berthe (1840 -1885)
Zalacca Edulis [Salak Palm]
Brussels: C. Muquardt, [circa 1863-1885]. Chromolithograph, by P.Depannemaeker. Very good condition apart from some very minor foxing and a small orange spot in the lower right corner of the sheet. Sheet size: 21 3/4 x 15 5/8 inches.
A fine example of the spectacular botanical work by Berthe Hoola Van Nooten, from 'Fleurs, Fruits et Feuillages Choisis de l'Ile de Java'.
Similar to the sago tree, the Salak Palm is native to Indonesia, and its edible spherical fruit is covered by a prickly, lizard-like epidermis. It belongs to the order of Palmaceae, which, as Hoola Van Nooten remarks, was regarded by the renowned English botanist John Lindley as "the most interesting of the vegetable kingdom; as well as on account of the majestic aspect of their towering stems, crowned with foliage still more gigantic, as from the character of their grandeur which they impress upon the landscape of the countries they inhabit; their immense value to mankind as affording nourishment, clothing and numerous objects of economical importance, and the prodigious development of their reproductive organs." Hoola Van Nooten had accompanied her husband to Jakarta (Batavia), capital of Java, where he died. She was left with debts to pay and a family to support. With great ingenuity, she managed to get a selection of her paintings chromolithographed and published under the title Fleurs, Fruits et Feuillages Choisis de l'Ile de Java Peints D'Après Nature, the first edition of which appeared in 1863-4. "Van Nooten was clearly more than competent, for the splendid tropical plants… have been depicted with great skill. She managed to accentuate the splendour of each species by adopting a style that combined great precision and clarity with a touch of neo-Baroque exuberance, revelling in the rich forms and colours of the tropics." (L. Tongiorgi Tomasi An Oak Spring Flora p.330)
Cf. Nissen BBI 931; cf. Stafleu & Cowan TL2 3025; cf. L. Tongiorgi Tomasi An Oak Spring Flora 87.