Ellis Rowan

National Library of Australia

Ellis Rowan
National Library of Australia
1 July 2024

Ellis Rowan

National Library of Australia

'Petite, plucky and always immaculately dressed in the constraint of Victorian finery...throughout her life she was acclaimed internationally, winning 29 medals, and accolades from leading art critics. Her work was also collected by royalty, including Queen Victoria.' - Patricia Fullerton, 2002

Ellis Rowan (1848-1922) was a painter, naturalist, writer and explorer. For almost 50 years, she travelled to remote parts of Australia, India, Europe, America and New Guinea in pursuit of exotic flowers and wildlife to paint. One of Australia's most-loved botanical artists, she was a woman who made her mark at a time when scientific illustration was a male domain.

The Ellis Rowan collection at the National Library of Australia comprises 919 watercolours and gouaches painted between about 1870 and 1920. This represents less than one third of Rowan's total output. The Artists of the National Library of Australia series showcases the Library's extensive Pictures Collection.

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