Passiflora caerulea Common Passion flower
London: Miss Lawrance, 1 May 1799. Etching, coloured by hand, by Mary Lawrance. Sheet size: 19 5/8 x 15 inches.
A fine image from one of the rarest of all botanical works.
Only five complete copies of Miss Lawrance's A Collection of Passion Flowers (London: 1799-1802) are known. The work was published, without text, in six parts of 3 plates each. Mary Lawrance (later Mrs. Kearse), flower painter, exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1795 to 1830. She lived during a period when flower painting was considered one of the necessary social accomplishments for ladies and she was able to charge up to half-a-guinea a lesson. She 'is said to have been the possessor of much personal charm and was exceedingly popular in London... [she] obtained her botanical specimens for her drawings from various nursery gardens, including the famous Vineyard nursery at Hammersmith... It was thought to be an honour for the owner as well as the flower when Miss Lawrance painted its portrait' (Henrey II, pp.580-581).
Cf.Great Flower Books (1990) p.111; cf. Henrey 947; cf. Hunt 760; cf. Nissen BBI 1150.