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'The Great Tree-Aloe of Damaraland' (Aloe dichotoma)

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Oil on canvas. Inscribed in paint on verso of canvas 'The Great Tree-Aloe of Damaraland, South West Africa, about 20 feet in height, the crown of leaves and flowers more than 20 feet in Diameter: the Stem about 12 feet in circumference. Near Anison or horned Owl peaks on Andersson's New Road. Sketched May 25th 1861. T.BAINES'. The original field sketch for this painting is also held in Kew's collections. This oil painting was almost certainly executed later, possibly even in London; the result of which being that the date given for the sketch is different from that of the painting, which is unknown. Baines didn't mention ostriches in his journal at the time of sketching this aloe, but he had attempted, unsuccessfully, to shoot one around two weeks earlier, and again in August of the same year. The scientific name of this species is Aloidendron dichotomum.

Copyright © RBG KEW

Media ID 654505

Date: 3rd December 2007

Author: Baines, Thomas (1820-1875)

Filename: BAI00000023.jpg

Image Size: 10013 x 7039 Pixels

Filesize is 8.90MB

Version 2 is 16.21MB

Associated Categories: Landscapes

Keywords: 19th century, aloaceae, aloe dichotoma, aloidendron dichotomum, animal, arid lands, bird, desert, expedition, exploration, explorer, landscape painting, south west africa, thomas baines collection, tree