Outside of the natural sciences, the work of Ferdinand Bauer, the pre-eminent 18th-century natural history painter is little known. However, his botanical and zoological paintings on paper are considered to be among the finest in the world. Of particular interest is the unusual drawing and painting technique he utilised, recording colour information on specimens by annotating preliminary pencil sketches with numerical colour codes to be painted at a much later stage referring directly to a painted colour chart. This paper discusses Bauer’s botanical illustration and his painting methods in the context of colour charts and systems developed by earlier naturalists. It documents Bauer’s technique and highlights the fact that if his watercolour paintings were created using this colour reference system, often many years after seeing the original specimens, and that they are highly regarded even today for their visual accuracy, it speaks to his expertise as an artist.
|Title of host publication||Studying 18th-Century Paintings and Works of Art on Paper|
|Subtitle of host publication||CATS Proceedings, II, 2014|
|Editors||Kimberley Muir, Helen Evans|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2015|