The start of a new painting! The subject of this work is a meeting between three botanists, William Darlington, William Baldwin, and Moses Marshall at the botanical garden of the now late Humphry Marshall. You may notice that the subject has a number of similarities to an earlier painting, the one with four botanists. This is intentional, as this new work is about the continuation of the spirit of the first. In the four botanists John Bartram and William Bartram are passing down and spreading their love and knowledge of botany to Moses and Humphry Marshall, symbolized by the Franklinia they surround. Though it is very unlikely all four actually met in person in this capacity, we know undoubtedly they were a great influence on each other.
With these three botanists a very similar process is happening. As John inspired Humphry, Moses inspired both Darlington and Baldwin. Moses in particular knew Baldwin at an early age and shared with him his love of botany. Baldwin in turn spread this passion to Darlington, who then also met with Moses and talked about plants. Again, we have no particular record of all three men meeting together, but in this instance it is quite possible that they did.
As you can see, there is more to this painting than just three plantsmen talking about a native trillium, and in the next post I’ll talk about the paintings composition along with some of the history.