Prince Charles has commissioned 36 international artists to make watercolours of Transylvania’s wild flora. The artists’ works, which illustrated plants such as gentian and geranium, campanula and crocus, hepatica and hellebore, will be published and exhibited.
Most of the artists are British, but they also include names from Japan and America. The choice of plants was made by botanist Dr John Akeroyd, who accompanied the artists, including Helen Allen, principal of the School of Botanical Art at the Chelsea Physic Garden.
“These meadows are of world significance and some of the watercolours document plants that grow nowhere else or in few other places,” said Fay Ballard, one of the artists, quoted by The Guardian. “I drew a Crambe tataria, a rare European plant listed for conservation protection by the EU. You can walk through these pastures of high wild flowers. It’s just heaven.”
“This is eco-friendly, agricultural land where there isn’t mechanised farming,” she added. “There aren’t huge farms carving up the landscape. Medieval villages are nestled in the valleys. The agriculture goes back to medieval times. Nothing has changed for hundreds of years. Prince Charles’s botanist said that this is how parts of England would have looked in Shakespeare’s time. Everything is so beautifully kept. Prince Charles adores the place. I can see why.”