Georgina Trower (1855-1928) produced over eighteen hundred delicate and faithful sketches of (predominantly) British plants in the first couple of decades of the 20th century. She was helped by her sister Alice who wrote to the leading amateur botanist of the day, George Druce, seeking his help in supplying fit specimens for her sister to draw.
Druce apparently proved to be a useful critic of Trower's painting technique and he duly mustered together a large number of specimen contributors (including himself). After the Trower sisters had died in the late 1920s, Truce acquired the collection which he then bequeathed to Oxford University.
"This unusual collection, together with an extensive archive of correspondence, shows how fruitful connections were made between artist and botanist and how serendipity influenced both the choice of species painted and the areas from which these species were collected." [source]
"There were two distinct periods of artistic activity: 1904-1917 and 1921-1928. Excluding Alice's own contribution, 76 people contributed plants for Charlotte to paint. By far the greatest contribution was made by Druce (272 plants). The vast majority of plants are from Britain and the Channel Islands (1747) and 47 are from the island of Ireland. Approximately 1400 taxa are represented in the collection although the collection is biased towards sedges (220 watercolours), daisies (160 watercolours) and beans (101 watercolours). Only two grasses are represented. Trower was awarded the RHS's Grenfell Medal for her sedge watercolours." [source]
The Trower Botanical Illustrations are hosted by Oxford University Herbaria. The web architecture is a little unusual, for reasons that escape me, but not too difficult to navigate. The easiest thing to do is to just put a letter in the search box and species name will automagically appear.
I have scanned through the majority of the database and I would be surprised if all of the Trower watercolour paintings are there. I would have guessed that only half or less of the collection had been so far digitised. [I could be wrong!] Unfortunately, there is only a cursory overview available at the source site and very little commentary anywhere else on the web.
nb. The majority of captions above include "Herts." - this refers to Hertfordshire, the county where the Trower sisters lived.
Source | article abstract | via Institute of Historical Research* *I think*