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Sydenham Edwards Wall Art

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Sydenham Edwards (Born 1768) was born in Usk, Monmouthshire. He was an illustrator of natural history, the son of Edwards Lloyd Pittell, an organist and schoolmaster. Edwards had a talent for arts and at the age of 11, he had shown his prowess by copying plates from Flora Londinensis just for fun. In 1779, someone by the name Denman visited Abergavenny and viewed some works by Edwards. Being a friend of Curtis William, the founder of the Curtis's Botanical Magazine and publisher of botanical works, spoke to Curtis about the Edwards. Curtis accepted to have Edwards trained in both botanical illustration and botany. Edwards learned so fast and was able to produce plates at an extraordinary rate: within 28 years, he had managed to produce about 20,000 watercolors for the Botanical Magazine alone.

The fortuitous encounter between Edwards and Curtis set Edwards on the road to become arguably the most talented and prolific botanical artist of his day. The quantity of his work alone serves to remind everyone, including artists, that Edwards probably did more than anyone else, to bring botany to the masses, either before or since. All who viewed his art could appreciate a beautiful picture, even if just a few could receive instruction in botany and Latin. Edwards was keen to detail and loved his work; he could not let anything pass by, some of which could easily be ignored by his fellow artists. His illustrations are used in many institutions around the world and his art hang on the walls of many buildings as well.
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