Margaret Stones 'Primula bracteosa'

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Margaret Stones is considered one of Australia’s most significant botanist artists. She came to the form while recovering from a long illness, drawing the flowers her friends sent her in commiseration. Her doctor remarked on her talent, connecting her with the University of Melbourne’s botany department.

What followed was an illustrious career. Stones was the principal contributing artist to Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. She was commissioned to create floral designs of Australian postage stamps and in 1976, set out on an expansive project with Louisiana State University to document the state’s flora for the American bicentennial. Her drawings were then published in a book called Flora of Louisiana and her original watercolours collected by the University.

For distinction in her career, Stones was awarded a silver and gold Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society, an Order of the British Empire and had two plants named after her – Stonesia and Stonesiella, a Tasmanian flowering shrub. For Stones, the great vitality and challenge of her work lay in its duality – these works must be “acceptable to botanists and acceptable to the art community,” she reflected.

For collectors of watercolours and botanist illustrations, ‘Primula bracteosa’ is a precious find. It comes from the private collection of noted writer and scholar Ursula Hoff, and is annotated with "Please note. This is pink colour is fugitive!". Like flowers themselves, Stones pink pigment with ebb in vibrancy over time.

Margaret STONES (1920 - 2018)
'Primula bracteosa' 1982
watercolour on paper
Image Size: 6 x 10 cm
Dimensions: 40 x 30 cm
Signed: Signed lower right: Margaret Stones; inscribed with the title, comments, and date lower centre
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Condition: Excellent
© The Artist or Assignee