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Iris Oncocylus
© Elizabeth Blackadder

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Iris Oncocylus 1996

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
In this painting, the artist has used watercolours to capture the delicacy of the lilies, as well as their vivid colour. A lifelong lover of flowers, Blackadder kept a collection of local flowers as a child, each pressed and labelled with their Latin names. Here, she depicts the lilies from different angles with the precision of a botanical illustrator. Yet despite her painstaking attention to detail, the flowers look graceful and full of life. Lilies are a favourite flower of the artist, and in 1979 she began keeping a sketchbook to document each variety as it appeared in her garden. Around this time, Blackadder was also a frequent visitor to Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens, where she helped to run a course in botanical illustration, which gave her access to rare and exotic plants.

Glossary Open


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.



  • Acc. No. GMA 4685
  • Medium Watercolour and pencil on paper
  • Size 56.70 x 57.00 cm
  • Credit Bequeathed by Miss Michelle Proud 2002