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Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

Past Exhibitions

Lotte Günthart Paintings, Drawings and Prints

19 April – 10 October 1970

Swiss artist Lotte Günthart (1914–2007) specialized in watercolors of rose cultivars, each painting often taking approximately 50 hours to complete. She also painted portraits and landscapes as well as other flowers and worked in various media, such as drypoint, tempera, pastel, pen-and-ink, oil and brush and ink. Early in her career, she even created a series of detailed paintings of plant diseases with a magnifying glass for use in advertising by her father's chemical company.

Günthart was educated at Académie Ranson in Paris (1933–1934), studying under Gino Severini (1883–1966) and Roger Bissière (1886–1964); at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1934–1935), studying under Fernand Léger (1881–1955); at the Central School of Arts & Crafts in London (1935); and at the Kunstschule des Westens in Berlin (1936–1938), studying under G. Ulrich. She became a member of the Gesellschaft Schweizerischer Malerinnen, Bildhauerinnen und Kunstgewerblerinnen (Association of Swiss Women Painters, Sculptors and Architects) in 1940 and began taking part in their exhibitions. Her first one-person exhibition was in January 1941 in Zürich. After her marriage in 1942 and the birth of her two daughters in 1944 and 1948, she found time to illustrate a few books. In 1953 a Zürich company contacted her to paint 12 roses for a small diary for their clients. She painted a fairy in each rose, and the diary was so successful that the company wanted a larger rose calendar the next year. This lead to requests for more rose calendars by other companies, and she soon began to concentrate on painting roses. McCall's magazine reproduced eight of her rose paintings in 1961. She spent three years working on 40 rose paintings for Vom Ruhm der Rose (1962), which was translated into Italian (1964), English (1965), French (1966) and Polish (1968). In 1968 a rose was named for her, and her work was included in our 2nd International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration. This 1970 retrospective exhibition of her work included 96 watercolors and drawings. A catalogue accompanied the exhibition. The Institute held another Günthart exhibition, Linger Golden Light, in 1984.