Original gouache painting on cotton paper by Unity Coombes.
Size: 20 x 20 cm
Framed Size with mount: 32 x 32cm
Date of Artwork: August 2020
Location of Signature: Unsigned
Available in three frame choices: Oak (solid wood), White (wood), Black (wood)
Please note: Our framers are recognised by the Fine Art Trade Guild for their quality because the custom frames have tightly pinned corners, and are made from precision cut wood in England, made bespoke for each order. All our frames are glazed with our Clarity+ Perspex. It's cut from the highest quality acrylic sheet that's both crystal clear, but also safe and filters out 99% of UV light to protect the artwork.
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About the artist
There is a long tradition of botanical artists who, over centuries, have delicately hand-painted porcelain and ceramic plates with sprigs of flowers and boughs of flora and fauna. British artist Unity Coombes takes this tradition full circle and uses these antique plates as subjects for her own paintings on paper.
(A painting in its early stages, with just the bouquet and no other decoration or colour)
The collection features plates from numerous eras, including: the 18th century Chelsea factory, French Sèvres porcelain as well as antique Japanese and Dutch pieces. The paintings feel celebratory, a tribute to these delicate objects that have survived through the centuries. Often capturing their age with cracks and even repairs, Unity also adds small details such as tiny ladybirds and caterpillars.
The distinctive patterned backdrops are a signature of Unity’s work and are inspired by the colour combinations and motifs found within the dishes and plates. The contrast between plate and pattern is compelling. It is as if the plate has been found in an old papered cupboard and seeing the light of the day for the first time in a long time.
Working from her garden studio, Unity surrounds herself with all sorts of objects she has collected, which often find their way into her paintings. Having previously worked in museums, she cites a period at the Ashmoleon Museum in Oxford as a real inspiration, particularly the early Chinese porcelain collection she worked on.
Like all botanical painting, there is great attention to detail in Unity’s work but there is also freedom and a freshness to them that gives them life and character.