Doina Moss Reporting From a Private View at 'The Transylvanian Florilegium', An Exhibition of Botanical Watercolours
“The Transylvanian Florilegium”, an exhibition of botanical watercolours.
21st May – 12th June 2018, at the Romanian Cultural Institute London; 1 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8PH
HRH Prince Charles commissioned a group or 36 artists to capture the unique wild flora of Transylvania. Starting around Viscri, where Prince Charles has a beautifully restored Saxon house, expanding through the surrounding lands and beyond, the artists produced an amazing book. “The Transylvanian Florilegium”, published by Addison Publications, is a two-volume set of handcrafted books bounds in leather and finished in gold leaf. It contains 124 paintings of plants from a list compiled by the botanist Dr John Akeroyd FLS, an authority in European plants.
The Romanian Cultural Institute organised an exhibition with 40 original watercolours plates which were used in the 150 limited edition oversized book. The book is a masterpiece, priced accordingly. The watercolours will remain in the private collections of Prince Charles, who visited the Romanian Cultural Institute in London to admire the exhibition of the botanical watercolours, engage with the Romanian public and sample some of the traditional gastronomic delights.
Some of the commissioned artists were present, including Helen Allen FLS, the leader of the project, with whom I had a charming conversation. I discovered with great delight that she lives in Ham and we paint in similar locations around Richmond and Bushy Parks. She promised to visit our new gallery in Hampton Hill. Perhaps soon we will have some of her botanical paintings in our window!
The book was introduced through an insightful presentation of the Romanian Sub-Carpathian flora by Dr John Akeroyd, botanist and leading authority on Transylvania's wild flora. “Romania - A Unique Botanical Paradise” was a short film introducing the imagery and adding the context and a wider understanding of the book presented.
This is just one of my photos but to see all the watercolours, please go to the exhibition.
Photos: Alex Coman