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These unique botanicals were created by Sarah Rhodes, an amateur botanical artist in 1804-1805. She employed the use of both watercolors and gouache on vellum to produce images that are light and flowery yet solid. They have been passed down through the family preserved in an album.
Rhodes was born in 1787 in Leeds. In 1807, she married Stephen Nicholson who inherited Roundhay Park estate in 1833. After Rhodes death in 1862, the property was willed to Nicholson’s nephew’s widow and children. Due to a dispute among themselves, the estate was sold to the city for the benefit of the public.
Due to the translucent quality of vellum, a white background was used instead of our usual black, to capture the color of these images more true to life.
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