Anna Atkins (English, 1799-1871)
"Pteris Verspertilionis Labil", circa 1851-1854
25.7 x 20.2 cm mounted on 37.4 x 23.4 cm album page
Handwritten title within the plate. "18" in pencil on mount verso.
The correct botanical title for this New Zealand fern is Pteris Vespertilionis Label.
After Anna Atkins, one of the earliest women photographers, produced British Algae, the first published book printed and illustrated with photography, she turned her love of the photogram toward the production of images of sheer visual pleasure. Her cyanotypes of the 1850s are striking precursors of the expressive photography of twentieth-century and contemporary artists.