Punica granatum I
42cm x 29.7xm
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico extra white cotton rag 300 gsm
SOLD - Private Collection
Pomegranates appear in a multiplicity of colours in the ruby-fuschia spectrum, these specimens in particular having benefited from months of Middle Eastern sun as they ripened. They were imported to Jordan from Syria, in the days before that border was closed due to the civil war in Syria, and purchased from a roadside stall.
The plant originated in modern-day Iran and is now widely cultivated widely in the Middle East and in many parts of the world. Pomegranates do very well in dry, hot environments, with sufficient irrigation.
The pomegranate is resplendent with meaning in many cultures. It is seen as a fertility symbol, with its many seeds. Completely understandably, some mediaeval beliefs ascribed magical properties to the pomegranates.
To the artist, this fruit seems like a pirate's treasure chest full of rubies, glistening with fecundity. It is not quite round, with the internal segments showing through the exterior, and a somewhat flattened roundness top and bottom, with angles. This makes it very interesting to capture.
Selecting the colours to represent the skin of this marvellous fruit was a delight. Daniel Smith’s Quinacridone Coral was used in the fresher, younger fruit on the left, with more intense shades including Anthraquinoid Red in the fruit with aging skin on the right.
The blackened insect damage on the open fruit is typical of pomegranates grown without pesticides, where part of the fruit has died.