An album of original water- and bodycolour botanical drawings on vellum, [circa 1800]. Broadsheet, (658 x 510mm). 35 ORIGINAL MOUNTED WATER- AND BODYCOLOUR DRAWINGS ON VELLUM (sheet size: 535 x 380mm. approx.), all with integral borders double ruled in black ink, 23 with identifying manuscript captions beneath. Near-contemporary blue straight-grained morocco binding by Hering, in portfolio form with protective internal flaps, covers with five fillet border with simple flower-head cornerpieces, spine in seven compartments with raised bands, lettered 'Drawings' in the second, the others panelled in gilt, the bands tooled with fillets and various small tools, cloth ties to flaps, g.e.

The drawings are as follows:
1.[Auricula]. 540 x 380mm.
2.Taxus baccata mas. W (Common Yew). 540 x 380mm.
3.[untitled]. 525 x 380mm.
4.Buphtalmum cordifolium (Yellow Ox-Eye). 525 x 366mm. (Light damage to paint surface of leaves).
5.[Polygonum] (Knotweed). 536 x 380mm.
6.[untitled] (Chinese date). 533 x 379mm.
7.Nicotiana Tabacum latifolia major (Tobacco). 538 x 385mm. 8.Acacia speciosa (Accacia species or spectabilis). 540 x 380mm.
9.Ruellia Coccinea W.. 525 x 383mm. (Light old creasemarks).
10.[Hesperis] (Dame's Rocket or Dame's Violet). 535 x 387mm. (Light damage to paaint surface of leaves).
11.[Asparagus officinalis] (common or wild asparagus). 532 x 377mm.
12.Nicotiana Tabacum paniculata (Tobacco). 530 x 380mm.
13.Ranuculus lingua (Buttercup). 536 x 377mm.
14.Aristolochia Sipho (Dutchman's Breeches or Trumpet Vine). 534 x 386mm.
15.Sida Crenatiflora, pera. 540 x 378mm.
16.Dentaria pentaphyllos W. (Pepper root). 534 X 375mm.
17.Erigeron graveolens W. (Fleebane). 538 x 384mm.
18.Scabiosa Itegrifolia. 540 x 377mm.
19.Aristolochia volonda W. 530 x 378mm.
20.Sedum populifolium. 535 x 377mm.
21.Dracaenia Entifolia W. 532 x 374mm.
22.[untitled] (Sweet William). 527 x 380mm.
23.Justicia Nasuta. 533 x 376mm.
24.[Lobelia Cardinalis]. 500 x 350mm.
25.[untitled] (Borrage). 530 x 377mm.
26.Cephalora glauca Cavanil. 540 x 380mm.
27.Lychniae Divicae. 535 x 376mm.
28.[Helianthus annuus] (Jerusalem artichoke). 530 x 375mm.
29.Stevia pedata. 535 x 380mm.
30.Sonchus hispanicus W. 522 x 366mm.
31.[Portulacha]. 520 x 360mm.
32.Coronilla cretica. 540 x 386mm.
33.[Silene Vulgaris]. 532 x 380mm.
34.Ballota lanata. 500 x 380mm.
35.Asperula odorata (Sweet Woodruff). 532 x 376mm.

A VERY FINE GROUP OF BOTANICAL DRAWINGS ON VELLUM by an accomplished contemporary of Redout. Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi's recent work on the Oak Spring Library has brought to light new information on Cattrani based on the surviving collections of his drawings, 'The collection at Oak Spring includes a large number of [Cattrani's] works...; several can also be found in the Garden Library at Dumbarton Oaks... while others have appeared at auction (Christie's Florence, 1977, and New York, 1996)... At Oak Spring, in addition to [a manuscript album, dated 1776, 75 watercolours on paper of fruit and flowers produced for Giovanni Marsili, director of the botanic garden, Padua] there are seven paintings on vellum of flowering plants, all of similar dimensions (53.5 x 38cm.), and sixty-three loose paintings on paper of various indigenous and exotic plants... In May 1935 a sale was held in Zurich of the collection of books and manuscripts left by Eugne Beauharnais (1781-1824), the son of Josphine and stepson of Napoleon I... Twenty-four volumes of botanical paintings in bodycolour by Cattrani were included in this collection. The catalogue description of lot no. 71 reads as follows: 'Cattrani, Baldassare, Collection de Botanique. Receuil de 1640 aquerelles originales, peintes sur vlin et rpresentent des fleurs et des plantes. Grandeurs des feuilles: 53.5 : 38cm. 24vols. Peint en 1806. In folio... Chaque feuille est encadre d'un double filet noir et porte en bas le nom de la plante, dans quelques volumes les ont omis....'. From the dimensions and other details provided in the catalogue it can be deduced that the seven paintings on vellum at Oak Spring, as well as 300 works in bodycolour on the same material loosely inserted in five in-folios and a series of 172 paintings in bodycolour on vellum now at Dumbarton Oaks, originally came from this important group of manuscripts. The catalogue also states that the paintings were executed for the Empress Josphine at her country estate, Malmaison, in 1806.... Actually, no sources testify that Cattrani did actually work directly under Josphine's patronage, since in the same year (1806) the artist was working once again in the botanic garden at Padua, this time for the director, Giuseppe Antonio Bonato (1753-1836), the successor to Giovanni Marsili. For Bonato, Cattrani painted seventy bodycolours on vellum that were sold at auction (Christie's) in Florence in 1977 and are now dispersed... Stylistic relationships have finally allowed the attribution to the artist of more than 225 botanical plates, hitherto recorded as anonymous, painted in water- and bodycolour on paper (51.5 x 36.5 cm.), now kept in the library of the botanic garden at Padua.' (An Oak Spring Flora pp.217-8). This fine collection of botanical watercolours almost certainly came from the 1935 dispersal and are closely related to the group in the Oak Spring and Dumbarton Oak collections.

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