Lost Art Of Botanical Drawing

Prasanna N S

Vijay Karnataka Kannada Daily | January 17, 2024

Botanical drawing is a form of art that depicts plants and flowers with scientific accuracy and aesthetic appeal. It has a long history in India, where many local artists have contributed to the documentation of the rich flora of the subcontinent. Among them, the South Indian ‘Company artists’ stand out for their skill and versatility. They worked for the British East India Company in the 18th and 19th centuries, producing drawings of various flora and landscapes. Their botanical drawings are especially remarkable for their realism, detail, and beauty. They captured the diversity and splendor of the plants in India using a variety of media. Unfortunately, many of their works are lost or forgotten, and their names and identities are unknown. The article draws attention to two of such artists Rungia and Govindoo and the British naturalist they worked for. These indigenous artists deserve more recognition and appreciation for their contribution to the art and science of botanical drawing. Unfortunately with the advent of photography, botanical drawings are scientific illustrations of flora are becoming increasingly rare.