Columnea pilosa


These prints appear to be from the same plate, but in different editions of Horto van Houtteana – note the inverted curve of the publication name to the left, and the slightly different arrangement of the text at the bottom. The differences in the hand coloring used to finish the two plates is particularly interesting.

In these early hand-colored plates, the image was engraved onto a copper plate (or, a bit later, created through lithography), and then the plate used to create a black and white image which was hand colored by skilled colorists. In the plate to the right you can see what the original image looked like in the uncolored leaf. Somewhat different approaches were taken by the colorists in other ways, with more colored shading in the leaves in the plate on the right. In both cases, the fine detail is similar — red hairs on the margins of the leaves and flowers, for instance.

The publication date is not clear. There are other versions of these images that are mirror images, and these date from 1846/47; the ones shown here may be a bit later.