Iris lorikeet

Miss Ann Lee was the daughter of the botanist John Lee.

This work is just one of 79 drawings of butterflies, birds and insects by Lee in RAMM’s collection. Before 1800 there were only a few women working as professional botanical artists. These women were often tutored by their husbands and other relatives.

While the drawing is annotated with ‘Psittacus Iris’ the depiction does not match this species. It is more likely to be the plum-headed parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala).

At this time some upper-class women published books of botanical drawings anonymously. This was because of the shame attached to the linking of a woman’s name with commercial ventures. Often female artists would write an ‘apologia’; typically this would explain that that they were forced to utilise their talents to avoid poverty.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
watercolour and gouache on paper
Common Name
iris lorikeet
Simple Name
Inscription Transcription
Ann Lee Dec:r 5 1770; PSITTACUS Iris Lee
Period Classification
George III (1760-1811)
Production Date
Production Person Initials
Production Person Surname
Production Year Low
Production Year High

View Full Details

Psittacus Iris