Anna Atkins occupies a singular place in the early history of photography. In a field dominated almost exclusively by male practitioners, she showed vision and determination in applying the cyanotype process of making direct, camera-less impressions invented by Sir John Herschel, to the precise documentation of plant specimens. Her serially-released project, British Algae (1843-1854) ranks among the very earliest photo-based publications. The present image derives from her associated projects, known through a small number of extant albums (one broken up) and loose prints, devoted to British and foreign flowering plants and ferns.
This print is from the album Cyanotypes of British Foreign Flowering Plants and Ferns, originally given by Atkins to Anne Dixon.