Anna Airy (Greenwich 1882 - Playford 1964)
Verdure and Decay Sold
Pen and black ink and watercolour. Signed with the artist’s monogram at the lower right centre. 425 x 538 mm. (16 3/4 x 21 1/8 in.) [sheet]ENQUIRE
Anna Airy was particularly admired as a draughtsman, and her interest in botanical studies was manifest from the earliest years of her career. In the catalogue to the 1952 exhibition of Airy’s work, in which the present sheet was included, Martin Hardie praised her ‘untiring patience, a Durer-like analysis, an almost Pre-raphaelite precision, in recording the minutest detail and the material structure and anatomy of living organism in pendant fruit, sprays of blossom, bees, birds, butterflies, struggling twigs or insect-eaten leaves.' ’This large watercolour was the last work to be exhibited by Airy at the Royal Academy, where it was shown in 1956. It must, however, date from at least 1952, as it had been shown that year at the retrospective exhibition held at the R.B.A. Galleries in London.