Punica granatum II
Pomegranates on a branch
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico Extra White 300 gsm cotton rag
19.5cm x 30cm
This branch of pomegranates was painted for an exhibition at the London Garden Museum which is on from May to September 2017.
The London Garden Museum has secured Heritage lottery Fund support to complete the restoration of the ancient structure of the Lambeth Museum and its transformation into a modern museum. The exhibition pf botanical paintings is part of the opening of the new facilities.
The exhibition is designed to bring together contemporary botanical paintings of heritage fruits of the sort which might have been depicted in "The Tradescants' Orchard', the original of which is the centrepiece of the exhibition. Other exhibits depict the wider historical context of horticulture at the time.
Artists were asked to depict heritage varieties, as noted in the Tradescant papers or otherwise known to have been collected at the time these father-and-son gardeners and plant collectors were active, from the late 1500s until 1662. The Tradescants' collection of curiosities formed the foundation of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Pomegranates are simply an astonishing fruit: redolent of a pirate's treasure chest full of rubies. There is much to love about their rounded hexagonal shape and their brilliant, colourful skin. Towards the end of the summer, they grow and swell, bold and opulent against a background of twig and dying leaves.
This specimen grew in the artist's garden in Jordan, where pomegranates grow easily and well, and where they are valued for their health properties, as well as their flavour.