Studies of Invertebrate Animals, Volume III
Date Made/Found: 1790-1810
, Irish, 1768 - 1837
Material and Medium: book, leather bound
Dimensions: Size when on display: 505 x 815mm
Overall (when closed): 505 x 395 x 56mm
Accession Number: CGSG03881
This is not a book as such, but a volume of collected watercolour illustrations that were bound together in the 1870s for the Ruskin Collection. It contains watercolour studies made towards several of Donovan’s books of natural history. He produced a number of these, under titles such as ‘The Naturalist’s Repository, or Miscellany of exotic Natural History Exhibiting Rare and Beautiful Specimens of Foreign Birds, Insects, Shells, Quadrupeds, Fish and Marine Productions’, which he published between 1822 and 1827. More famously, Donovan produced ‘The Natural History of British Shells’, first published in 1799, which became one of the more popular books on shells during the 1800s, due to its beautifully produced, hand coloured illustrations. All of his books however were notable for their vivid and detailed studies.
Not only did Donovan paint the preliminary illustrations for his books, he also made sure he had control over the final book illustrations by etching, engraving and hand colouring them himself.