EDWARDS, John (1742-1815)
Iris augustifolia bicolor / Narrow leaved Flower-de-luce with two Coulours
[Pl. 66] [London: 1770]. Hand-coloured engraving. Very good condition apart from a 2 1/4" loss in the top left-hand corner. Sheet size: 18 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches. Plate mark: 13 3/4 x 9 5/8 inches.
A beautifully designed image from Edwards "British Herbal", a superb and rare work in which Edwards sought the essence of his subjects, producing graceful flower portraits.
Edwards lived in London until about 1778, at which time he moved to Surrey, and exhibited at both the Society of Artists, of which he was a member, and the Royal Academy. In addition to the fine arts, he also provided designs for textiles, particularly cotton calico. Between 1769 and 1770 he published Edwards British Herbal in monthly parts, with text garnered from the works of contemporary botanists and 100 fine hand-coloured engraved plates from his own designs. The plates show that his interests lay not so much in the accurate depiction of botanical specimens as the design possibilities of beautiful flowers.
Cf. Dunthorne 105; cf. Great Flower Books (1990) p 93; cf. Henrey III 673; cf. Nissen BBI 579; cf. Oak Spring Flora p 64.