Victorian bee and flower models in Sarah Graham's summer exhibition

July 1, 2020

Sarah Graham’s current exhibition of new botanical ink drawings includes a collection of fascinating papier-mâché didactic bee and flower models, consigned for the show by antique dealer Peter Petrou. Petrou specialises in unusual objects and natural history.

Graham draws her subjects from life, however often the objects from which she draws are themselves studies, one step removed from the source. This contributes to the surreal nature of her depictions; the smooth, rounded forms, abridged details and the structural, sculptural qualities that defy the delicacy of the Indian ink with which she paints.

The flower models were made by Robert and Reinhold Brendel in the late 19th century. The bees range from early – late 20th century and were made in Germany and Milan.