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Academic & Professional Books  Botany  Plants & Gardens

The Tradescants' Orchard The Mystery of a Seventeenth-Century Painted Fruit Book

Art / Photobook
By: Barrie Junniper(Author), Hanneke Grootenboer(Author)
120 pages, 81 colour photos and illustrations
The Tradescants' Orchard
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  • The Tradescants' Orchard ISBN: 9781851242771 Hardback Apr 2013 Usually dispatched within 4 days
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About this book

In the early seventeenth century there was eager interest, among the leisured classes, in fruits from the Mediterranean and beyond, not least for the kitchen gardens and orchards of England's grand houses. The Tradescants' Orchard of charming, vibrant, almost primitif watercolour paintings of orchard fruits on the branch, popularly known as Tradescants' Orchard, is a precious and fragile relic of this era of broadening horticultural horizons. This manuscript, traditionally associated with the renowned plantsmen, the John Tradescants, was among the eclectic collections of Elias Ashmole (1617-1692), which came to form the basis of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Then, in 1860 it was transferred to the Bodleian Library. Tradescants' Orchard has been quietly recognized as a mysterious treasure, yet the paintings raise many unanswered questions. Who painted them, and for whom? What was their purpose? Only one apple is represented – were there once others, now missing? Whose handwriting appears in the manuscript? Why did the artist paint wildlife such as birds, frogs and butterflies on many of the folios? All sixty-six of the original illustrations are reproduced here in facsimile for the first time, following a general introduction which maps out the mystery of why and how these beguiling watercolours came to be commissioned and made.

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Biography

Barrie Juniper is Emeritus Reader in Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford and Fellow Emeritus of St Catherine's College, Oxford. Hanneke Grootenboer is a University Lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford.

Art / Photobook
By: Barrie Junniper(Author), Hanneke Grootenboer(Author)
120 pages, 81 colour photos and illustrations
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