Henry Roderick Newman
, American, about 1843 - c.1917
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Support: 378 x 278mm
Accession Number: CGSG00377
John Ruskin bought this watercolour from a selection of flower studies that Newman had produced in Florence. Newman probably used these watercolour drawings as practice studies, before painting larger paintings of the flowers within a landscape.
Ruskin, who described anemones as 'one of the loveliest children of the field', felt that purple anemones were particularly difficult flowers to paint, due to the subtle changes in colour: 'The outer petals, nearly all violet; the inner, white with violet centres, like crocus. The interior, white; and the rose-like stamens, golden. But the violet itself is a most mysterious tone; made first by the finest possible granulate powdering of purple on the white ground-then over this, at the base of the petal, minutest granulation of purple-black; and all this seen through a mist of close-set amianthoidal down, palest fox-colour at base, passing up into silver-grey so delicate that it only makes the colour dim.'