Dutch school, beginning of the XIXth century
Viola Odorata with two butterflies and a caterpillar
Inscribed Nro1 Viola Odorata Welriekeno Viooltze (recto) with extensive description of the flower, in Dutch (verso).
Watermark BLAUW & BRHEL.
362 x 235 mm – 14,25 x 9,25 in.
Viola Odorata : one of the rare scented violets, thought to be magic and aphrodisiac during the Middle Age. This anonymous botanical draughtsman does not seem aware of the true appearance of the flower’s regular visitors, Issoria Lathonia – Queen of Spain fritillary – and Boloria Dia – Weaver’s fritillary. Indeed, it was not before 1819 that Jacob Hubner identified them in his study Das kleine Schmetterlingsbuch. But the refined presentation of the flower and the precise descriptions on the verso reveal a knowledgeable botanist as well as a fine draughtsman.
Condition report – Two folds, horizontal and vertical. Very slight foxing.