Pa[e]onia officinalis var pallida. P.
European School: 18th – early 19th Century
Watercolor on paper
17.5 x 13 inches
An original early botanical paintings of Paeonia officinalis, a flowering plant also known as the common peony or garden peony. As is typical for the era in which this was painted, the rendition is very precise with an emphasis on showing the leaves, stems and buds as well as the flowers. It also shows three insect pollinators — a dragonfly, a moth and a bee or wasp. It was possibly intended as a study of the plant as an herbal remedy, since peonies have medicinal uses, although they also were popular ornamental garden plants for their large, showy blossoms. Below the plant is a hand-lettered calligraphic inscription. Peonies are native to France, Switzerland and Italy.
Condition: Generally very good with the original overall light toning, handling, and wear. Old folds (unobtrusive but some light wear to paint on folds), probably as issued, indicating it might originally have been bound in a book. Small stray mark lower right margin, unobtrusive.