Rory McEwen strummed his way onto the Ed Sullivan show, sat in on a sitar session with George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, and was a leader in the post-war folksong revival. Yet arguably his greatest legacy was not in the field of music—a talented, precise artist, McEwen revolutionized the field of botanical art.
Inspired by the old masters throughout his childhood training in art, McEwen developed a distinctive style of botanical illustration. He approached each portrait with scientific precision, capturing the individual contours of each plant instead of offering up an unrealistic ideal. Drawn on plain backgrounds without shadows, often on unadorned vellum, the resulting paintings are extraordinarily realistic, as if a rose-colored petal or sharp green leaf were suspended on the canvas, ready to be touched. McEwen was a master at balancing technical accuracy and artistic flair, without ever compromising one for the other.
Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality brings together over one hundred of his illustrations in a collection that celebrates McEwen’s art and artistic ability. Full-color artwork is featured alongside essays that explore his botanical work, his influence on fellow artists, and his other talents for music, poetry, and sculpture. It is a lavish tribute and the first major collection of McEwen’s work in decades. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality will delight old fans while drawing in many new ones.
|Publisher:||Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew|
|Product dimensions:||9.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Martyn Rix is editor of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and author or editor of numerous books, including The Golden Age of Botanical Art, The Genus Lachenalia, and Subtropical and Dry Climate Plants: The Definitive Practical Guide.