Close-up photographs of plump apricots, juicy mangoes, crisp lettuce … these are familiar to us all through cookery books and garden guides. But seeing fruit and vegetables as detailed art, viewed through eighteenth-century eyes, is something very different – and more interesting.
Thanks to intrepid explorers and plant-hunters, Britain and the rest of Europe have long enjoyed a wide and wonderful array of fruit and vegetables. Some wealthy households even created orangeries and glasshouses for tender exotics and special pits in which to raise pineapples, while tomatoes, sweetcorn and runner beans from the New World expanded the culinary repertoire.
This wealth of choice attracted interest beyond the kitchen and garden. In the 1730s a prosperous Bavarian apothecary, Johann Wilhelm Weinmann produced the first volume of a comprehensive A to Z of plants, meticulously documented, and lavishly illustrated by botanical artists. A Cornucopia of Fruit & Vegetables is a glimpse into his world. It features exquisite illustrations of the edible plants in his historic treasury, allowing us to enjoy the sight of swan-necked gourds and horned lemons, smile at silkworms hovering over mulberries and delight at the quirkiness of ‘strawberry spinach’ … a delicious medley of garden produce and exotics that will capture the imagination of gardeners and art-lovers alike.
- 152 pages, 190 x 150 mm
- 100 colour illustrations
- ISBN: 9781851245666
- Publication May 2021