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CORNUS arborea involucro maximo: foliolis obverse cordatis.

1761
Origin: England
Framed H: 27 3/4" Framed W: 23 3/8"
Watercolor on vellum
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1991-15,A
The lower margin reads: "CORNUS arborea involucro maximo: foliolis obverse cardatis. Linn./ G.D. Ehret. pinxit./ 1761."
Label:A portion of a manuscript notation on the back of this painting reads: “This plant is found in all the Northern parts of America, being a Native of the Woods in Virginia, New England, Maryland & Carolina. It is a very hardy plant and endures our [English] Climate very well. This plant with me is about 12 feet high, and every Spring is quite covered over with Flowers…. In May the Blossoms are quite expanded and the whole plant is then in its highest beauty as represented in the large branch gathered & painted on the 18th of that month in the year of 1761 by G.D. Ehret from the plant in my Gardens at South Lodge. F. W.S.”

The identity of “F.W.S.,” apparently the first owner of Ehret’s painting of a dogwood sprig in several stages of bloom, remains elusive, but that person may have been a member of the Sharpe family residing at South Lodge, Enfield, Middlesex.