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Margaret Mee must rank as one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth century. She was an intrepid explorer of the Brazilian rainforest and an outstanding botanical artist, acclaimed by botanists and art critics worldwide.
At the age of 47 Mee started exploring the Amazon, traveling throughout the wildest parts of Amazonia for the next thirty years. Mee learned to live with the forest and its plants, animals and people and learnt much from the Native people about the trees and plants she so meticulously painted. Mee initially sketched the plants in the forest and then worked on the large illustrations of the entire plant in her studio in Rio de Janeiro. Nine of these plants recorded by Mee, previously unknown to science, are now named after her.
Flowers of the Amazon Forests: The Botanical Art of Margaret Mee illustrates more than sixty of Mee's major works with additional sketches painted while in the forest. The text is taken directly from the diaries she kept whilst traveling, giving a wonderful insight into the Amazon - something very few people have actually seen.
Mee was an ardent conservationist and was well known for her outspoken views on the destructive exploitation of the Amazon forests. This book is a small tribute to her great work.
*Beautifully illustrates the botanical work of Margaret Mee, the premier female explorer of the Brazilian rainforest, depicting many of the flowers she painted in her thirty years of expeditions to the Amazon
*On seeing her paintings for the first time, Wilfred Blunt, author of The Art of Botanical Illustration said: "they are splendid, magnificently composed, superbly reproduced.... can stand without shame in the high company of such eighteenth century masters as Georg Dionysius Ehret and Redoute"
Margaret Mee (1909-1988) worked as a draughtsman for De Havilland during the Second World War and afterwards retrained at St. Martin's School of Art and Camberwell School of Art where she studied under Victor Pasmore. Her first of many expeditions to the waterways of Amazonia was in 1956 when she was forty-seven; her last was in 1988, aged seventy-nine. She was tragically killed in a road accident in England. Recognition of her work came in the form of financial support from the Brazilian government, the National Geographic Society and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1976 she was awarded an M.B.E., and in 1979 the Order of Cruzeiro do Sul (Brazil) for her services to botanical research.
On seeing her paintings for the first time. Wilfred Blunt, author of The Art of Botanical Illustration said: ...they are splendid, magnificently composed, superbly reproduced... can stand without shame in the high company of such eighteenth-century masters as Georg Dionysius Ehret and Redoute"