MANUSCRIPT BOTANICAL SKETCH BOOK FOR DESIGN APPLICATIONS. .
Yarmouth ca.1909 . Rose Ryan's botanical sketchbook is as much a study for the application of plant forms to design as an exercise in botanical art. As such it fits very well into the practice of Arts & Crafts Movement participants drawing on natural form for their designs. Ryan 's style is light and quick, showing no sign of the stiffness of typical drawing school sketchbooks. . The work is executed in pencil and watercolour and concentrates on the leaf and flower components of the rose; chestnut; strawberry; wildweed; stitchwort (chickweed); golden rod; marshmallow; potato flower; poppy; dandelion; and sweet pea. The drawings are highly detailed, focusing on seed vessels; buds; front and back of leaves; the way a flower appears after seed spores have blown away; and views of the flower from every angle. In particular, when Ryan draws a flower head from above looking straight down, the suggestion for ornamental design based upon natural form is strong. Throughout she has pencilled notes and measurements. The distance between leaves on stalks are often measured, as is the elevation of a particular flower on a stalk. There are side views of petals overlapping, close-ups of the angle at which leaf stems meet the stalk, and geometrical diagrams of bud arrangements on stems. Making notes for herself as she draws, Ryan measures and comments on form and shape. Importantly, she makes occasional notes indicating the possible use of forms in pottery, cotton prints, etc. Also, on a few pages, she draws quick studies of such applications for wall tiles, a cup or a plate. In all, a fascinating view of a decorative artist at work during the flourishing Arts & Crafts Movement. Rose F. Ryan lived in Gorleston, Greater Yarmouth, Norfolk. Laid into the sketchbook is a coloured drawing of a bird identified with "W. Ellis Sept. 1915" pencilled on the verso. Oblong sketchbook 25.5 x 17.2 cm; 32 ff., each with drawings on rectos, a few also have illustrations on versos.
Original canvas-covered sketchbook, predictable paint spots and overall moderate soiling and small faded damp stains; original lap-over ribbon closure present; internally, a few pages loose, signatures loosening The final page has an incomplete charcoal sketch which has rubbed off onto rear pastedown. Quite well preserved.
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