© Royal Collection Trust | Licence: All Rights Reserved
© Royal Collection Trust | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Deformed broccoli c. 1650

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From the Collection


An interest in deformed specimens was common among seventeenth-century collectors. The study of ‘strange and monstrous objects, in which nature deviates and turns from her ordinary course’ (in the words of the philosopher Francis Bacon) was considered essential to understanding the workings of nature. This anomalous head of broccoli, with an enlarged and flattened stem and irregularly attached leaves, is depicted life size.

Alternate title: 'Broccoli, Brassica oleracea L. var. italica Plenck'

Descriptive Medium: 'Watercolour and bodycolour over black chalk', 'black chalk, bodycolour', 'watercolour painting'

Additional Makers: Italian School, mid-17th Century (artist); Collection of Cassiano Dal Pozzo (1588-1657) (collector)

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© Royal Collection Trust

From the Watercolour World