Marianne North’s family traveled extensively throughout her youth. In 1847 they went on a three year trip through Europe. Five years later, after her mother’s death they began traveling every summer, visiting Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, the Bosphorus, Egypt and Syria. But her travels exclusively devoted to botanical painting properly started at age 40, after her father’s death.
Between 1871 and 1885 she made over 800 oil paintings in 17 different locations:
Africa: South Africa, The Canary Islands (Spain) and the Seychelles.
The Americas: USA, Canada, Jamaica and the Caribbean, Chile and Brazil.
Asia: Japan, Singapore, Malasia, Java, Sri Lanka and India.
Australasia: Australia and New Zealand.
1871-1872 Her first trip was to the United States, Canada and Jamaica. In Upstate New York she met Frederick Church, who showed her his oil paintings from Jamaica and sparked her desire to go there.
1872-1873 Marianne North traveled to Brazil and spent over a year in the states of Rio and Minas Gerais, completing 112 oil paintings.
1875 She escaped the English winter by traveling to the Spanish island of Tenerife.
1875-1877 In these two years she went around the world, from England to California, and then across the Pacific to Japan, Borneo, Java and Ceylon before returning to her homeland.
1878-1879 Traveled to India and produced 200 more paintings. Upon her return she exhibited her paintings at a London gallery and soon after wrote to Kew Gardens offering to donate her work.
1880 At Charles Darwin’s suggestion she visited Borneo, Australia and New Zealand. Just in Australia she did 300 more paintings.
1881 The Marianne North Gallery opened at Kew Gardens, but scarcely two months later she set off again to
1882-1883 visit South Africa
1883-1884 and the Seychelles Islands
1884-1885 Marianne North traveled for one last time to paint Araucaria trees in Chile and make a very brief return visit to Brazil. Her health had seriously deteriorated.
1886-1890 The last years of her life were spent writing her autobiography in Gloucestershire.
Marianne North at work