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Floral Prints and Objects

18 Items in this Learning Collection
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object
Collection Object

Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

Equisetum Sylvaticum

Accession Number
1989/1.62

Title
Equisetum Sylvaticum

Artist(s)
Anna Atkins

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date
1854

Medium & Support
cyanotype on paper

Dimensions
18 7/8 in x 14 3/4 in (48 cm x 37.4 cm);18 1/16 in x 22 1/16 in (45.88 cm x 56.04 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase

Subject matter
This photograph displays the silhouettes of six plant stems arrayed in a neat diagonal row against a blue background. Starting in the lower left corner, the sprigs fan out diagonally across the image to the upper right of the page. This camera-less photograph was made by laying the stems on chemically treated paper and then exposing it to sunlight. Because the plants blocked the light, their imprint is left after the print’s development. By virtue of this process, the delicacy of the plants’ forms is rendered in exquisite detail, their features represented as silhouettes. The blue of the print appears at once flat and full of depth, suggesting the forms within as almost floating in a blue expanse. Written in elegant script, the latin name for the plant is located in the lower right corner, indicating that each sprig represents a different stage of the plant’s growth.  This print then has a scientific function as well, offering a means of recording and classifying botanical specimens. 

Physical Description
This cyanotype photograph displays the silhouettes of six plant stems laid out in a row.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Plantae (kingdom)
Plants
Sphenophyta (division)
botany
contact prints
cyanotypes (photographic prints)
natural history specimens
photograms

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved