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Jane Webb Loudon (1807-1858)

A selection of plates from British Wild Flowers. 
London: James Nelson & Co., 1859. 
Lithographs with original hand-coloring.
Jane Webb Loudon was the wife of John Claudius Loudon, one of the most important nineteenth-century landscape gardeners and horticultural writers, and her works contain some of the most attractive lithographed botanical illustrations from that era.  While thirty years earlier only the wealthy could afford to own color-plate flower books, Loudon's age was one in which they were aimed at a large, popular audience.  British Wild Flowers was first published in 1846.  In this work, Loudon continued a simple formula she had derived for her previous publications, combining brief text with charming illustrations, an arrangement which greatly appealed to her audience.  The plates were derived from James Sowerby's English Botany, published between 1790 and 1814 and prepared by Henry Noel Humphreys (1810-79).  Each of Loudon’s animated illustrations shows rich coloring, careful attention to detail, and sensitivity to composition, leading to the widespread popularity and appreciation of her engaging publication.