Gourmet Fair

Plunging into the Forest Primeval

Tropical Autumn, the French Guiana Travel Log by Delphine Zigoni and Julien Norwood. Botantical Plate of several flowering species in French Guiana, Heliconia pendula, H. spathocirinata, H. bihai, H. psittacorum, H. acuminata. ©Julien Norwood/MNHN. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France — The equatorial rain forest of French Guiana— one of the best preserved in the world — is home to more than 5,000 species of plants including 1,700 species of trees. But to see them you need to delve into the humid forest itself for from above as you fly into the region, it all looks the same. And it is precisely this plant life that is being showcased in Paris inside the tropical forest greenhouse found within the grounds of France’s national natural history museum, the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle. The instructive show is being played out in the museum’s Tropical Autumn season which offers a discovery of the plant world through its leaves, shapes and colors. And the journey into the tropical rain forest greenhouse offers a journey into French Guiana through 100 illustrations peppered throughout the luxuriant tropical flora in the greenhouse. These illustrations, which form a visual travel log, were done in the wilds of the forest by two naturalist artists, Delphine Zigoni and Juien Norwood, who spent two months in French Guiana as artists in residence in 2021, making numerous forays into the forest to capture its unique species, environment and landscapes.

Tropical Autumn, the French Guiana Travel Log by Delphine Zigoni and Julien Norwood. Heliconia spathocirinata, one the many flowering plants in French Guiana. Oil pastel on paper, 2021. ©Delphine Zigoni/MNHN. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

At times the paintings were done from a dug-out canoe floating through the forest and nearby villages. Through the drawings one discovers the majesty of the mangroves, exotic looking plants and local villagers and their crafts as well. Nine emblematic plants of the rain forest have also been added into the greenhouse which features a wealth of tropical species already and delightful fish-filled ponds. Botanical drawing workshops by the artist Julien Norwood are slated to be conducted in the greenhouse on November 12th, 19th and 26th at 10:30, lasting two hours. Reservations on-line. Temporary exhibition until November 28th.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
57 Rue Cuvier
75005 Paris, France
+33 (0)1 40 79 56 01

Naturalist artists Delphine Zigoni and Julien Norwood at work in the Tropical Greenhouses of the Natural History Museum in Paris. ©J. Munier/MNHN. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

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