GEORGE BROOKSHAW English (1751-1823)
George Brookshaw, is one of the most highly regarded British painters and illustrators of botanical art. During the 19th century, a time when many great flower paintings were produced in England, Brookshaw's masterpiece collection, the Pomona Britannica, was, and still is, considered to be unrivaled in its excellence. In S. T. Prideaux's renowned Aquatint Engravings, Pomona Britannica is described as "one of the finest color plate folios in existence."
These initial images, many depicting specimens from the Royal Gardens at Hampton Court and Kensington Gardens, would become the initial part the series.
Pomona Britannica was first issued in parts between 1804 and 1808. The complete edition, dedicated to the Prince of Wales, was published in 1812. Comprised of 90 magnificent drawings and engravings of over 250 varieties of fruit including apples, peaches, melons, grapes, pears and others. Skillfully combining the technique with stipple, linear engraving and detailed hand coloring, Brookshaw's compositions show perfect specimens of ripe fruit isolated in space (many against a rich chocolate brown background.) The effect is sumptuous, elegant and imaginative, and in some ways very modern looking.
The Pomona Britannica took George Brookshaw ten years to complete. In the collection's preface, the artist stated that his work was created for the "enjoyment and edification of succeeding generations." Brookshaw died in 1823, eleven years after finishing his extraordinary and exceptional contribution to the field of botanical art.