Three studies of butterflies

Ann Lee (1753 – 1790) was a British artist best known for her drawings of plants. The collection at RAMM also includes birds, insects and a wildebeast. She was the youngest daughter of the Hammersmith nurseryman and botanist James Lee (about 1715–1795) who was employed for a while by botanist Joseph Banks. She had access to her father’s living plant collections and his museum of pinned insects from around the world. James engaged Sydney Parkinson (about 1745-1771) to tutor his daughter in drawing at the age of 14 or 15 years old. Under his direction Ann’s work developed to produce naturalistic images which included a shadow effect that added depth of field.

Read a guest blog post by E. Geoffrey Hancock of The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow for more information of the life and works of Ann Lee.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
watercolour and gouache on paper
Common Name
Three studies of butterflies
Simple Name
Period Classification
George III (1760-1811)
Production Town

Production Person Initials
Production Person Surname
Production Year Low
Production Year High

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Three studies of butterflies