image ms_109_24
Image number: RS.17972
Credit: ©The Royal Society

'Acriviola maxima odorata flore pleno'




Jacob van Huysum (1682-1745, Dutch), Painter

Object type

Archive reference number



height: 375mm
width: 265mm


Content object

   > plant
      > flower


Botanical study of Tropaeolum majus, common name Indian cress. This plant is native to the Andes in South America. Painting shows a stem of an orange flowering plant with flowers open and in bud, and with rounded green leaves.

Painting 24 from MS/109, a collection of botanical paintings by Jacob van Huysum and William Sartorius.

Inscribed in ink 'Acriviola maxima odorata flore pleno'. Not signed.

This painting is reproduced, in mirror image, in the Society of Gardeners' book Catalogus Plantarum (1730) (plate 3, central figure). The book was written by Philip Miller FRS, Foreman of Chelsea Physic Garden, where this plant was cultivated. A specimen of this plant was also noted in 'A catalogue of the fifty plants from Chelsea-Garden, presented to the Royal Society ... 1746. Pursuant to the direction of Sir Hans Sloane' by Joseph Miller, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society vol. 46, issue 491. It was one of the specimens from the yearly collection sent by the Society of Apothecaries’ Physic Garden at Chelsea to the Royal Society. This means of capturing the specimens was initially proposed by Taylor White, who presented a collection of watercolours by van Huysum in 1734.

Jacob van Huysum (1682-1745), Dutch botanical painter, was not a Fellow of the Royal Society. He produced most of the 50 illustrations for the Historia Plantarum Rariorum (London: 1728-38) written by John Martyn FRS, and all the drawings for Miller’s Catalogus Plantarum, an index of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers.

Object history

Repeated in the British Museum collection, SL,5284.6. Slight variations to the Royal Society copy. Digital image available on online catalogue.

Associated place

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