Blueprints

Anna Atkins (1799 – 1871) was probably the first British female photographer. She learnt directly from William Henry Fox Talbot, who is credited with introducing some of the earliest photographic printing processes. She then went on to make cyanotypes – from which we get the word blueprint – just a year after they were invented by family friend Sir John Herschel in 1841. Ms Atkins was certainly well-connected, but she was also a pioneer in her own right. These botanical cyanotype prints are the combined work of Anna Atkins and Anne Dixon (1799 – 1877). Together, they also published the album of cyanotypes, British and Foreign Ferns. The print of Spiraea aruncus is from Cyanotypes of British and Foreign Flowering Plants, inscribed by the artist in 1854 as a gift to her family friend and collaborator, Anne Dixon, second cousin of the novelist Jane Austen. The print is now held in the Met Museum, while the others are held by Getty .edu

  • Iris Sibirica
  • Lastrea dilatato
  • Cypripedium
  • Polypodium Aureum
  • Spiraea aruncus
  • Uvena Novae Villiae

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