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The Tradescants’ Orchard and the Still Life Tradition

Wednesday 26 March 2014

1 Hour


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Mysterious as the history of the botanical manuscript Tradescants’ Orchard may be, it is deeply embedded in the long, artistic tradition that links the visual arts with the natural sciences, as well as the rich tradition of still life painting. The fruit paintings share characteristics with Dutch and Flemish still life paintings, in particular the role that insects and amphibians play in such compositions, but was its maker directly influenced by such images?  Hanneke Grootenboer and Barrie Juniper, joint authors of The Tradescants’ Orchard: The Mystery of a Seventeenth-Century Painted Fruit Book, discuss the various links between this fascinating manuscript, the visual arts and natural science.

Juniper is emeritus reader in plant sciences at the University of Oxford and Grootenboer is a lecturer in the history of art at the University of Oxford.