Ian Robinson, Sir Hans Sloane Volume, 2015, Etching on paper heightened with oil, framed and glazed, 43 x 46 cm, Edition 2/3. Ian Robinson draws and paints collections. This is an etching with hand-colouring showing the notebook that contains a recipe for chocolate that was kept by Sir Hans Sloane during his world travels. Sir Hans Sloane's The Natural History of Jamaica volume I published in 1707 and is on display in the British Library. Under the image of the cacao specimen is the title ‘The Cacao Tree, Ray Hist, 1670’ which is a reference to the name given to the plant by Sloane’s friend and mentor, the naturalist John Ray. The recipe Sloane brought back was eventually taken up by Cadbury's in the Nineteenth Century.
Ian Robinson's work is concerned with obsessions and the back-stories of collections. His photorealistic paintings of the objects of collections began when he was still at college, and he started to paint pictures of his own record collection. Upon moving to London, he suddenly found he had access to numerous other collections, including those of Sir John Soane, Cassiano Dal Pozzo, and Aby Warburg, and his focus has switched from music to literature. When he visits the collections, he makes drawings and takes photos, and then scales these up, sometimes by hand, sometimes by projecting the photograph on to the canvas, and paints them in minute detail over a period of months. The results are ...
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