Verbascum Phoeniceum, Purple mullein1778 by Mary Delany

...Mary Delany had always been an artist, but during her marriage to Dr Delany she had the time to hone her skills. She was also a gardener, and did needlework, drawing, and painting; but was best known for her paper-cutting:

"For these 'mosaicks' are colored paper representing not only conspicuous details but also contrasting colors or shades of the same color so that every effect of light is caught". She struck up a friendship with Letitia Bushe, a watercolorist and miniaturist, with whom she embarked on a number of artistic projects.

In 1771, a widow in her early 70s, Mary began on decoupage, a fashion with ladies of the court. Her works were detailed and botanically accurate depictions of plants. She used tissue paper and hand coloration to produce these pieces. She created 985 of these works, calling them her "Paper Mosaiks [sic]", from the age of 71 to 88, when her eyesight failed her.
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