The artist: Marianne Louise Charlotte Amalie Wehl (19 Sept. 1867, Mt Gambier; 26 Oct. 1926, Melbourne), a flower painter who was active in South Australia and Victoria, and not to be confused with Marie Magdalene Wehl.
Connection with Baron von Mueller: Von Mueller’s younger sister, Clara married Doctor Eduard Wehl and they lived in South Australia. They had 14 children, 6 of whom collected and painted botanical studies – some now in the National Herbarium, Melbourne. A cousin of Doctor Wehl – Carl Wehl – married Sophia Caroline (née Gorte) and one of their daughters was Marianne Wehl. It is recorded that von Mueller visited the Wehls and D’Altons in Halls Gap (Henrietta D'Alton was also a painter of wildflowers), so it is hard to believe that there is no influence at least.
Von Mueller had over 1,400 collectors/artists working for him and 225 of them were women and children. Their work is housed in the National Herbarium, Melbourne. The donor believes that Marianne contributed to this work. There is no record of that, however, as only 169 of the artists have been identified, it may be a possibility.
Marianne was one of six children of Carl Jakob Wilhelm Wehl (1830–1899) and Sophia Caroline Wehl (née Gorte) (1843–1920). She never married. https://data.environment.sa.gov.au/Content/Publications/JABG34P001_Dowe.pdf
The plants: All of the plants painted by Marianne Wehl's in this donation were identified by Botanist Neil Marriott & Wendy Marriott, in July 2022.
Neil Marriott said that the quality and beauty of these botanical studies made it easy for them to identify all the plants. He suggested they may be some of the first paintings of Grampians wildflowers. This makes the paintings highly important scientifically and botanically. Visitors to WAMA will be able to compare them with today’s plants in the Endemic Garden. Neil marvelled that Marianne found the specimens, as some of them are endemic and found only in the highest parts of the Grampians (Mt Rosea, Mt William and Major Mitchell Plateau) and are listed as rare and endangered. Some of these same rare plants have now been propagated by the WAMA team and in winter 2022 were planted in WAMA's Endemic Garden.
Left to right: (Neil's comments)
Tetratheca ciliata - Black-eyed Susan. Common and widespread.
Marianthus bignoniaceus –Orange Bell-Climber. Confined to drainage lines and winter-wet areas, generally well shaded. A most beautiful light climber with the Grampians being its only location in Victoria, but amazingly, it is also found in small numbers in the wetter parts of the Mt Lofty Ranges and on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Although not strictly endemic, it has been propagated for planting in our endemic garden due to its rarity in Victoria.
Leptospermum myrsinoides - Heath Tea-tree. Common and widespread.
Spider Orchid Caladenia species- need my orchid books for accurate identification!
Thryptomene calycina - Grampians Thryptomene. Grampians endemic but common.
Epacris impressa - Common Heath - white flower form. Common and widespread
NB In some records she is called Marianna (as the donor calls her) and in others Marianne.
Wildflower art, Wildlife art
Gift of Barbara Crick in memory of Marjorie and Lachlan McLennan
Six individual, small paintings of Grampians wildflowers, matted together and framed in a smooth gloss olive green simulating wood or bamboo.
All are signed with the initials “M.W.” underlined, to the left or right of the stem of the plant.
On the reverse side - Shield-shape stamp centre top: “J.A. Reynolds. Decorator & Picture Framer, 28 Sturt St., Ballarat”. Hand-written right of that in black felt pen at an angle, “McLennan, 106 Bennett Rd. (2)”.
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