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This intricate and well executed pen and wash drawing was done by Adolf G. Weiss. They were completed circa 1862 to 1872 representing specimens from the botanical garden at Lemberg which is now L’viv, Ukraine. Each drawing is on laid, watermarked paper and many feature the Linnaeus binomial classifications. It is easy to believe Weiss had intended his collection for publication due to the exacting detail and precision.
The drawings are of extraordinary quality and render the plant in flower with anatomical details. It was said of Weiss’s ability: “… die seltene Meisterschaft in der Handhabung von Pinsel und Feder macht die Abbildungen… zu den auch künstlerisch vollendesten, die wir besitzen (… the rare mastery and use of the brush and pen make [his] illustrations the most artistically accomplished we have). (Oesterr. Bot. Zeitschrift, 1884)
Adolf Weiss (1837-1894) was born at Freiwaldau, Silesia and became the pre-eminent Austrian botanist of his day. He studied botany at the University of Vienna. He served as the director of the botanic garden at Lemberg. He also founded the first institute of plant physiology in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There is little left of his work in Lemberg now, so this illustration is a beautiful testament to his legacy.