I have been away at a conference in Washington, DC. Until I have a chance to get back out into the garden, please enjoy this portrait with significant horticultural content that I saw while touring the National Gallery of Art during my lunch break.
Rubens Peale with a Geranium was painted by the human subject’s older brother, Rembrandt Peale, in 1801. According to the story attached to the painting, the botanical subject was grown by Rubens Peale and was the first of its kind to bloom in North America.
“Painted in Philadelphia, the work could be described as a double portrait because the geranium, reputed to be the first specimen of this exotic plant ever grown in the New World, is as lovingly portrayed as the painter’s brother is…Combining firm, clear drawing, carefully modulated color, and an intense devotion to detail, twenty-three-year-old Rembrandt Peale produced an eloquent expression of his family’s philosophical orientation.” Source