Aquatint and stipple engraving printed in color and hand colored
Platemark: 45.1 x 34.7 cm (17 3/4 x 13 11/16 in.); Sheet: 59.2 x 47 cm (23 5/16 x 18 1/2 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.165
Originally from the Mediterranean, figs were cultivated in England as early as the 1580s.
This color aquatint etching is one plate from George Brookshaw’s 1812 illustrated volume Pomona Britannica. Named after the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens, and orchards, Brookshaw intended the volume to be the English “country gentleman’s” guide to the science of classifying and identifying fruits (pomology). Many of Brookshaw’s models came from the Royal Gardens at Hampton Court and Kensington Gardens. Each print featured one fruit, often life-size, including detailed depictions of its flower and leaves. Printed in color with hand-painted highlights, this and other illustrated botanicals formed an essential part of the cultured English library in the early 19th century.
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