ANIMAL ART OF THE DAY for Wild Koala Day: “Australian Bears and Australian Pears”

Australian Bears and Australian Pears
Marianne North (British, 1830–1890), c. early 1880s
oil on board
Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens, Richmond, UK

Fauna: Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) (Reminder: not really a bear! It’s a marsupial.)
Flora: Western Wooden Pear (Xylomelum occidentale)
(Also not a true pear.)

While Marianne North is primarily known as a pioneering botanical artist of the nineteenth century, many of her paintings include native fauna as well. Her life’s work of over 800 paintings can be found on display at the Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens, and the entire collection is now digitized and browsable by both geography and subject. To browse all of her works which include animals, click here.

Here too is a virtual video tour of the gallery:

If you aren’t familiar with Marianne North’s fascinating life story, check out this brief biography from Kew, Things you should know about Marianne North. North defied the conventions of the Victorian era to explore the natural world — she traveled to 15 countries in 14 years, in a time when it was considered improper for a woman to travel anywhere without a husband or other male chaperone. Even Charles Darwin was a fan! In fact, it was on Darwin’s recommendation that she traveled to Australasia, where she painted this delightfully named painting, along with dozens of others which you can browse here.

sharing is caring:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twenty − two =