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[Album of Chinese watercolors of Asian fruits]

[Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified], [between 1798 and 1810?]


Digital Facsimile

1 album ([28] leaves of plates)

Watercolor paintings of fruits of Asia. The first 12 watercolors depict elaborate arrangements of several fruits, some showing the fruit at various stages of its life cycle, and some fruits peeled, segmented, or cut to reveal their form, surrounded by flowers and foliage. The next 10 watercolors show just one fruit per painting, with its flower, foliage, and seed.

Twenty-two watercolor paintings are painted on sheets measuring 40 x 51 cm and are mounted onto the album pages.

Hand-painted labels, each measuring approximately 8 x 16.5 cm, are mounted eight to a sheet on eight sheets following the full-page watercolos. The labels identify the various fruits depicted in the preceding 22 watercolor paintings. Each label bears a small painting of a fruit or flower to the left with its name written in Arabic script (possibly Malay?) at right. Faintly visible above the Arabic script appears the name of the fruit in Dutch(?).

Mildred Archer, curator of Prints and Drawings at the India Office Library from 1954 to 1980, viewed this album of watercolors at Dumbarton Oaks and determined from their style and coloring that the album was most likely painted by a Chinese artist, probably in Malaysia or Sumatra. Archer dated the manuscript to between 1798 and 1810.



Fruit -- Asia -- Identification -- Pictorial works.; Flowers -- Asia -- Identification -- Pictorial works.; Fruit -- Asia -- Identification -- Pictorial works.; Botanical illustration -- Asia.; Watercolor painting, Chinese -- Asia.; Watercolor painting -- Asia.