Butterfly Art Royal Pavilion Crystal Blue



‘Butterfly Art Royal Pavilion Crystal Blue’

This ‘Butterfly Art Print’ shows the iconic Sussex butterflies up in the sky and in front of the Royal Brighton Pavilion. The symmetric and order found in the architecture of the building is echoed in the formal display of the butterflies. It is so that the butterflies in the sky form arches that follow the shape of the domes of the Royal Pavilion and mimic the symmetry axe that cuts through the central onion dome. A double symmetry appears with the addition of reflection in the water. This creates a plausible kaleidoscope. The Royal Pavilion shines like a crystal blue diamond. The colour palette ‘Crystal Blue’ uses sapphire, teal and navy blues. East Asian-Victorian motifs of chrysanthemum and lotus flowers appear as a background that echoes the Chinoiserie interior style and decorations of the Royal Pavilion.

I created this print from my original ink drawings to which I apply colour digitally. Printed on fine art paper using archival inks, the prints are available in sizes A0,A1, A2, A3 or A4 as limited editions of 100 and each print is individually signed and numbered.

Photograph of the base drawings for the art print. I draw these on A3 sheets of pigment marker paper with calligraphic brushes, fine-line ink pens, sponges, sand paper and other materials. The medium is ink and often charcoal and wash. I scanned these to form the main line work and patterns in the final print.

Butterfly Art. Adonis blue and Chalk Hill Blue

For this print I chose two of the most iconic Sussex butterflies:

Appearing flying in the sky is the Adonis blue. It is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae that inhabits the Palearctic realm. Adonis blue is found in chalk downland, in warm sheltered spots, flying low over vegetation, seeking females that are rich chocolate brown in color. The male has brilliantly colored wings that give it its name.

The butterflies appearing resting on water on my print are Chalkhill Blue. It is also a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. It is a small butterfly that can be found throughout the Palearctic realm, where it occurs primarily in grasslands rich in chalk. Males have a pale blue colour, while females are dark brown. Both have chequered fringes around their wing

In dry chalk or limestone grassland you will find the Family of Sussex blue butterflies which mainly are Chalkhill Blue, Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Holly Blue and the Silver-studded Blue.

The Brighton Royal Pavilion

John Nash remodelled The Brighton Royal Pavilion into what we can see today in glorious  Indo-Saracenic style. The works of the Marine Pavilion began in 1815 and took seven years to complete. George chose architect John Nash who proposed an Indian style in response to the design of the new stable block. Nash was also inspired by landscape gardener Humphrey Repton (who had published designs for a new palace based on Indian architectural forms) and based many of his ideas on a publication called Oriental Scenery by Thomas and William Daniell (1795-1808).

The complex composition of domes, towers and minarets created a romantic exterior. Either side of the central large dome are two towers that serviced the interior rooms over the Saloon, one with a staircase, the other with a hoist. To achieve a picturesque effect the rendered surfaces of the Royal Pavilion were painted to create a unified vision of a building made of Bath stone.

Chrysanthemum and Lotus Crystal Blue

In Asian and Chinese culture the Chrysanthemum and the Lotus are used widely and have complex meanings:

Taoism is the second major religion practiced in China where the Chinese lotus flower has significance. Believers of this religion accept that the earth is reigned over by eight immortals. One of these immortals is Ho Hsien Ku. The symbol for this immortal being is an open lotus flower which symbolizes wisdom and openness. In Taoism, the lotus is used on artwork throughout the religion to symbolize beauty, life, and light.

In Chinese culture, the chrysanthemum is a symbol of autumn and the flower of the ninth moon. People even drank chrysanthemum wine on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month to prolong their lives during the Han dynasty. It is a symbol of longevity because of its health-giving properties.

​A Poem to a Chalk-Blue by Patrick Reginald Chalmers​

​Butterflies , Butterflies, delicate downy ones,
Golden, and purple, and yellowy browny ones,
Whites, reds, and tortoiseshells, what’s in a hue?
You’re worth the whole lot of them, little Chalk-Blue

Fabled Apollos, of bug-hunter’s hollow tales,
Camberwell Beauties, Large Coppers, and Swallow-tails,
They’ve fled from high farming, they’ve gone down the breeze,
To Elfland perhaps, or wherever you please!

You, Master Blue, hold by man and his handiworks,
Chalk-pits and cuttings, and engineer’s sandy works,
Sway on his wheat stalks, most buoyant and bold,
A turquoise a-droop on a chain of light gold!

Here was your home, ere the Legion’s lean warriors
Laughed at the slings of Druidical quarriers,
Or ever the Eagles came swooping ashore,
You flew your blue ensign from Lizard to Nore!

Long may you linger and flourish exceedingly,
Dancing the sun round all summer unheedingly,
Sprite of his splendour, small priest of high noon,
Oh, bold little, old little, blue bit of June!

Butterfly Art Royal Pavilion Crystal Blue framed
‘Butterfly Art Royal Pavilion Crystal Blue’. Framed print, A1 edition size.

Additional information

Dimensions N/A
Print sizes: standard landscape

Art print A0 size landscape, Art print A1 size landscape, Art print A2 size landscape, Art print A3 size landscape, Art print A4 size landscape


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