06 March 2014

Strange Fruit


Fruit-symbol of fertility and abundance- in Cranach's painting (Lucas the Elder) Cupid Complaining to Venus-and in Keats' poem...

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.”


Crivelli's paintings of the Madonna always exhibit Fruit entwined in elaborately bizarre bunting.


  "Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother's womb."- Jean Arp


Botanists and painters have been splitting open Fruit in examination and inspiration for centuries. In the 18th century Johann C. Volkcamer illustrated exotic citrus fruits growing in Volckamer's Nuremburg home. Somewhat surreal-Volkcamer's colossal fruit & Baroque banners with names in Latin, are suspended over landscapes, villas and gardens in Nuremberg and Northern Italy. 



"Nurenbergische Hesperides, the thorough description of the noble Citron, used in within and neighbouring area, praised Lemon, and Orange fruits, like such, be received and carried away, velvet of a detailed dicription of most sorts, which some were brought to Nuremberg actually grown, others by different strange places there... " Volkcamer




 "Before thee stands this fair Hesperides, With golden Fruit..." Shakespeare


  (photographs of Penelope Tree top, center Tim Walker, and below Irving Penn)

The HESPERIDES, three daughters of Hesperus, tended the beatific orchard of Hera in a far western corner of the world.




  "But the fruit that can fall without shaking, Indeed is too mellow for me."  Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


Flowers and Fruit of the Pomelo, a Branch of Henna, and a Flying Lizard, by Marianne North

 Marianne North at Mrs. Cameron's house in Ceylon,
photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron



From table-to cabinet to dressing table, Howard Slatkin's artful placement of Fruit throughout his apartment bring magical spots of citrusy color into his rooms.


(photographs by Tria Giovan from Slatkin's book Fifth Avenue Style)


“Everyone who enjoys thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact the principal thing to it is the seed. -- Herein lies the difference between them that create and them that enjoy.” Nietzsche



  1. Oh my goodness! What a magnificent and thought-provoking post!

    AGAIN.......YOWZERS! THE last line; something to think about for a long time........chew it over and over!

    I especially loved Verushka! (pic 14) covered in fruit! And; my personal favorite (is it because we share my unusual first name?) Penelope Tree! pic # 17? with fruit on her head?

    I have always adored her......the daughter of Ronald Tree and his final (???) wife called "Marietta"; (they built a magnificent house in the Bahamas with Coral stone everywhere.....with Oliver Messel); and she (Penelope's mother) had an affair with Adlai Stevenson; who ran for President!
    Is this all true?
    I could not have made it up! I just love when I remember details like this!!!

  2. What a beautiful post and I love the new design!

  3. Just gorgeous. Thank you for all the beauty
    you bring us.

  4. Gaye I can see that you have put a great deal of though into this post. An amazing assemblage!

    2014 Artists Series

  5. Thank you Gaye for including me in such a magical and inspired post----your genius and eye are in every image. How you find them and then how you juxtapose them is extraordinary. Oh to have a book of your genius! XXXX Howard

  6. Gaye! That tribute from Howard Slatikin......YOWZERS!!!

    That may be the "ultimate"! ; however, no! You will soar higher! What fun to watch!!!


  7. What a wonderful post...lavishly illustrated and beautifully written.
    I love your blog.



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