Miss Ann Lee was the daughter of the botanist John Lee. This work is just one of 79 drawings of butterflies, birds and insects by Lee in RAMM’s collection. Before 1800 there were only a few women working as professional botanical artists. These women were often tutored by their husbands and other relatives. At this time some upper-class women published books of botanical drawings anonymously. This was because of the shame attached to the linking of a woman’s name with commercial ventures. Often female artists would write an ‘apologia’; typically this would explain that that they were forced to utilise their talents to avoid poverty.


  • Title: Psittacus Iris
  • Creator: Miss Ann Lee (late 18th century)
  • Date Created: about 1770
  • Medium: Watercolour and gouache

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