Today, we look at a local artist whose speciality was the portrayal of mammals. #PriscillaBarrett (Prill)(1944-2021) was born in Cape Town. From her youth, she was a lover of the natural world and the animals that inhabit it. She graduated from Cape Town University, married, and in 1969, moved to Cambridge, England. Both she and her husband worked at Cambridge University’s sub-department of Animal Behaviour at Madingley. Here, her skill at illustration was nutured and matured. She started with illustrating colleagues’ papers and articles, but this quickly developed to the illustration of books.
Prill was the main artist for the Encyclopaedia of Mammals, the only artist for Harper Collins Guide to European Mammals and its companion European Mammals. Three huge endeavours and yet only 3 from a long list of works, which she illustrated. She truly was a master of illustration. Wonderfully combining accuracy in detail, palette, and expression to bring forth a beauty to rival reality.
From my collection comes the sumptuous portrayal of the Crested Genet.