After a month break for Old Salt, it is time for something pretty and simple.
In the 19th century, French company Vilmorin-Andrieux & Cie produced a glorious album of colour illustrations of French garden vegetables, including beets, potatoes, muskmelon and strawberries, The Vegetable Garden, 1850–1895, which has thankfully now been reproduced by Taschen. Prior to its re-release, the original album had become one of the great rarities amongst the botanical works of the 19th century and survives in its complete state in only a handful of academic libraries.
The Vegetable Garden, 1850–1895, featured 46 extra-large colour plates, produced by 15 painters employed by the Vilmorins. Most had trained as artist-naturalists at the Jardin des Plantes, the former Royal Gardens, including Elisa Champin, who painted a large number of the plates.
It is just pretty, reminds me of my university sketches that were never even half as good and sets up perfect mood for summer Sunday afternoon lunch. Stay healthy and aesthetic!