Meet Marianne North, who defied Victorian convention to paint the world’s jungles

Meet Marianne North, who defied Victorian convention to paint the world’s jungles

By contemporary standards, Marianne North led an extraordinarily creative and productive life. Over the span of 15 years, she traveled to five continents and 17 countries, seeking out the most remote and hazardous parts of the tropics to paint exotic and undiscovered plants, presenting them in their jungle environments. The achievement, however, is amplified by the fact she did this in the 1870s and 1880s, thus breaking with Victorian notions of middle-class, middle-age women as wives, mothers and homemakers to help create an awareness of the evolutionary connections between plants and animals.

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