The story behind the collection...
In days gone by, before photography existed, drawings and paintings were used to scientifically record thedis
identification of a plant.
An artist painted what was in front of them, accurately capturing a flower’s true beauty in all its detail
before its lifespan had passed. Undistracted by modern life, it was a time when many of nature’s mysteries were
yet to be discovered, hours were spent gazing upon the flower to ensure its presentation to the horticultural
world was exact.
Alfred John Wise (1908-1985) was part of the last generation of important botanical artists before the
introduction of colour photography.
Engaged by The Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley, in the English county of Surrey, Alfred Wise was a
talented botanical illustrator who learnt the elements of drawing at the Birmingham School of Art. Described as
a true gentleman, his character was considered eccentric and unique. Living in a caravan nestled in the grounds
of Wisley itself and known for his lifelong love of the outdoors, Alfred immersed himself in nature, seeking to
uncover different species and understand their form. Through a collection of exquisite, hand drawn botanical
sketches and watercolour paintings, he was able to share and distinguish his findings.
With private access to Alfred Wise’s extensive archive of profoundly detailed artwork, Romo have created
Gardenia, an enchanting collection of fabrics that wonderfully embody Alfred’s passion for botanical drawings.
With intricate detailing that is both graceful and charming, the Gardenia fabrics perfectly capture Alfred’s
devotion to understanding nature.
Through producing a tantalising collection of painterly prints and embroideries that bring a sense of
nostalgic charm, Alfred’s work can now be admired from a new perspective. Gallery >
© Original illustrations are the copyright of Wiseartwork