'The Welwitschia mirabilis'

'The Welwitschia mirabilis'. © RBG KEW

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Oil on canvas. Inscribed in paint on verso ' The Welwitschia mirabilis, Nyanka Kykamkop or plant of Hykamkop or Otjitumbo Otjihooro. Stump with a head. South West Africa T. Baines. Sketched Hykamkop May 9 1861. Painted 15 Whitehall Place, London April 10 1867'. A watercolour sketch by Baines of the same plant is also held in Kew's collections, probably that referred to by Baines in the above inscription. In his 'Explorations of South West Africa', Baines noted 'The Late Sir Wm J. Hooker acknowledged my sketch and specimen as the first he had ever seen, but it had almost simultaneously been discovered by Dr. Welwitsch south of Loando, and his description arriving first, it was very rightly called after him... It has but two leaves, but the manner in which they were split up led me to think there were four', The gentleman seen sketching the plant is Baines, his ox-wagons featured in the distance. The identity of the person seated behind Baines is unknown.

Copyright © RBG KEW

Media ID 654506

Date: 3rd December 2007

Author: Baines, Thomas (1820-1875)

Filename: BAI00000024.jpg

Image Size: 10083 x 6987 Pixels

Filesize is 4.76MB

Associated Categories: Landscapes

Keywords:  19th century  arid lands  desert  expedition  exploration  explorer  landscape painting  namibia  south west africa  thomas baines collection  welwitschia  welwitschiaceae

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