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Lise Cloquet, also known as Anne-Louise Cloquet, was a French botanical painter who picked up drawing from her father, illustrator and engraver Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Cloquet. Lise’s flower paintings are evidence of a wealthy family background; painting flowers was thought to be a suitable pastime for wealthy women because of its more effeminate qualities. Cloquet’s works thus exhibit an interest, primarily, in artistic details rather than scientific ones.
The Genus Camellia has a seemingly infinite amount of species, with the total number estimated to be around 20,000. Originally found outside of Europe, the first recorded Camellia grown in England was cultivated in 1739. Sometime between the mid 18th and 19th centuries, Lise Cloquet would have come in contact with the beautiful flower.
Seemingly a Swan Lake Japonica variety, Cloquet captures the magnificent ruffled petals of the flower. Cloquet’s Camellia is a quintessential example of her work. It exhibits her interest in considering flowers removed from their context, her interest in vivid colors and in communicating realistic texture. The meticulously illustrated irregular shapes of the petals, too, model Cloquet’s interest in artistic precision.
Compositionally, the piece is characteristic of Cloquet’s work as well. Situated in the center of the page, her Camellia invites admiration from a distance; the leaves frame the petals which seem to unfold upon the page. The curve of the leaves, even, is articulated where she carefully renders the waxy surface of the leaves to communicate their shape and curve.

Details

  • Title: Camellia
  • Creator: Cloquet, Lise
  • Date Created: 1820

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