GARZONI, Giovanna
(b. 1600, Ascoli Piceno, d. 1670, Roma)

Mandrake

c. 1650
Watercolour and ink on vellum, 495 x 380 mm
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, Washington

This sheet is part of a herbarium (plate 8) illustrated by Giovanna Garzoni comprised of fifty botanical tables and preceded by a self-portrait of the artist. The drawings in the manuscript are accompanied by inscriptions that identify the species. In the upper right hand corner the botanical name appears as it was likely indicated by the naturalist who guided the artist during the creation of the herbarium. The name is repeated in fine calligraphy by Giovanna Garzoni next to the root of the plant.

The Mandrake (Mandragora autunnalis) is a plant widely found in southern Italy and was revered for its alleged magical properties.




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