Origin: Belgian Period: Mid-20thC Provenance: The Estate of the late Howard Radclyffe & exhibited: Bernard Quaritch Ltd, London, "Raphaël Ghislain" in 1971 Date: c.1971 In Frame: 31.25” high x 22.25” wide
The striking sepia ink work on paper, signed with monogram and dated II-II MCMLXXI, brilliantly depicting the fluidity of the Japanese fantail or dragon willow shrub, presented framed and glazed and surviving from the early seventies.
The book published by Bernard Quaritch in 1971 was made up of Botanical artist Raphaël Ghislain’s Thirty Six Drawings of flora and fauna. There was an exhibition in London at the time, which was well received, and the book is still available today.
There is a biro inscription to the reserve which reads ‘Raphael Ghislain Exhibition, Quaritch Bookshop, 1971, with a further original paper label reading “Salix Sachalinensis 'Sekka'’: (S.s Setsuka; S.s. f. lugulata, Kimura) A curious form with faciated branches, cultivated in Japan (Dzyariu Yanagi or Dragon Willow). Introduced sinxe 1950. £100 (76 x 53 cm.)
The artwork was priced at £100 at the exhibition in 1971, which equates to approximately £1,400 in today’s currency.
The Japanese fantail willow is a highly ornamental, large, rounded multi-stemmed shrub with dark maroon-black new growth and bright fall colors. 'Sekka' is grown as an ornamental shrub and for the flower market. With a very tropical summer look, autumn then brings rich yellow leaves and winter finds it stark naked but it retains a very distinct shape unlike any other willow.
A beautifully fluid and balanced and striking work by a talented artist of botany.