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John Raphael Smith, 1752–1812, British

William Curtis (1746-1799), Entomologist and Botanist

ca. 1787
Pastel and gouache on moderately thick, moderately textured wove paper
Sheet: 8 5/8 × 10 5/8 inches (21.9 × 27 cm) and Frame: 13 1/2 × 15 1/2 × 2 1/2 inches (34.3 × 39.4 × 6.4 cm)

Lettered inside image in black chalk, center: "BOT"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Given by Lowell Libson in honor of Mrs. Rachel Lambert Mellon and the Oak Spring Garden Library
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
books | botanist | entomologist | portrait
Associated People:
Curtis, William (1746–1799), botanist and entomologist
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

William Curtis (1746–1799) was a respected botanist who held the post of Head Gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden between 1771 and 1776 before establishing his own botanical gardens in Lambeth and Brompton. John Raphael Smith has represented Curtis leafing through one of the volumes of his Botanical Magazine, an illustrated periodical that he started in 1787. Smith began his career as a pastelist and printmaker before rising to become one of the finest and most successful mezzotinters of his time and a print publisher in his own right. This drawing was given to the Center in honor of Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon, Paul Mellon’s second wife, a renowned gardener, designer, and collector of botanical books and drawings, which now comprise the Oak Spring Garden Library in Upperville, Virginia.

Gallery label for A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13)

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