Alfred Goossens (1866-1944)
Alfred Goossens (1866-1944)

A collection of watercolours of Ondontoglossum sp. (Orchid) relating to illustrations for the Dictionnaire Iconographique des Orchides

Details
Alfred Goossens (1866-1944)
A collection of watercolours of Ondontoglossum sp. (Orchid)
relating to illustrations for the Dictionnaire Iconographique des Orchides
four signed 'A Goossens' (lower right); many inscribed with their identifications in Latin with further indistinct inscriptions, and variously numbered between 1 and 29
pencil and watercolour, heightened with bodycolour, unframed
6 x 6 in. (22.8 x 15.9 cm.); and slightly smaller; eight facsimiles from the Dictionnaire Iconographic des Orchides after Goossens; and a facsimile after M.Walters Anson, dated 1910 (40)

Lot Essay

'Alfred Goossens fut assurment le portraitist d'orchides le plus estim', J. Balis and A. Lawalre, L'Orchide en Belgique, Brussels, 1961, p. 46. His illustrations of the genus are celebrated as the most botanically accurate representations ever painted and his work remains unsurpassed today.
The important Belgian botanist Alfred Celestin Cogniaux (1841-1916) chose Goossens to illustrate his extensive Dictionaire Iconographique des Orchides, a 12 volume work published over 12 years. Cogniaux, who is remembered for his comprehensive systemization of Brazilian orchids, made an important contribution to the description of the genus and many species were subsequently named after him.
Goossens also worked on J. Linden, Iconographia des Orchides, known as Lindenia, Ghent, 1885-1901, and most probably executed private commissions to record prize-winning orchids. Two watercolours by the artist are in the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation (see Hunt, p. 234), and the Lindley Library, Royal Horticultural Society, London, also hold a number of watercolours. A large number of the original watercolours for the Dictionnaire were bought by the American Orchid Society, who made Goossens an honorary member for his contribution to the scientific study of the genus.
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