Posted on: 6 August 2012

An Iris flower
18th century

The central painting on the page is of a mauve and pale yellow iris in full bloom on a short stalk with two ribbed sword-shaped leaves curving upwards under the lower tier of petals. The veining and modelling is painted with fine hatched or stippled strokes together with areas of transparent washes. It is set against the plain ground of the mottled off-white paper in a frame created by strips of pale brown paper outlined in black with two further rulings in black on the plain ivory-coloured ground of the main border of the page. The margins of the two short sides and that on the left hand side of the page have strips of blue-grey paper collaged on them with a black ruled line on their inner edges. An additional strip of grey paper has been added on the left hand side as a gutter for the present album binding, with a similar strip stuck on the right hand margin.

This study of an iris is included in the "Small Clive Album", a volume of Indian paintings which is thought to have been given by Shuja ad-Daula, the Nawab of Avadh, to Lord Clive during his last visit to India in 1765-67. It contains 56 folios on which are Mughal paintings, drawings and flower studies dating to the 17th and 18th centuries. The binding is covered with an Indian brocade.

Copyright: © V&A Images

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Simple stunning !


I love irises.