ROWAN, Marian Ellis (1848 - 1922)
Dasyptilus pesqueti (Pesquet’s Parrot)
Watercolour and bodycolour on card, 22.8 cm diameter, signed lower left, inscribed in pencil verso : [possibly] 2nd. Jany / Box No. 5 / 98 Dasyptilus pesqueti / , 22.8 cm diameter, framed.
A fine and dramatic image of Pesquet’s parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus psittrichadini) found in New Guinea by the indefatigable Ellis Rowan. Self-taught and widely travelled, Ellis Rowan produced a large body of vibrant natural history watercolours noted for their artistic ability and scientific accuracy.
‘Pesquet’s parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus), also known as the Dracula parrot or as the vulturine parrot (leading to easy confusion with Pyrilia vulturina from Brazil), is the only member of its genus. It is endemic to hill and montane rainforest in New Guinea. … Pesquet’s parrot is a highly specialised frugivore, feeding almost exclusively on a few species of figs. Flowers and nectar have also been reported. At least in parts of its range, it is seasonally nomadic in response to the availability of fruits. The bare part of the head is presumably an adaptation to avoid feather-matting from sticky fruits.’ – https://inaturalist.ca/taxa/19194-Psittrichas-fulgidus
Christies, Sale of Pictures, Watercolours, Drawings & Prints, London, 26/10/1983, Lot No. 179
Private collection, Melbourne