Painting as a chronicle of the development of world horticulture


Painting as a chronicle of the development of world horticulture

07/26/2020

Fruits and vegetables have appeared on countless canvases over the centuries

A group of scientists from Belgium suggest that through detailed analysis of works of art, it is possible to determine the origin and process of change in modern fruits and vegetables.

AgroPortal writes about this with reference to The Guardian.

From the luscious grapes depicted by Clara Peters to the colorful Cézanne apples, fruits and vegetables have appeared on countless canvases over the centuries. Belgian researchers have encouraged the public to submit pictures of such paintings to help understand how the fruit and vegetable industry has developed historically.

According to scientists, this method allows the world’s art collections, including sculpture and visual arts, to be viewed as the largest historical database of virtually all fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds that have ever been consumed.

For example, this approach has already shown that carrots have become a popular vegetable not only since the early 17th century.

Read also: Tajik apricot variety “Nishoni”: history of creation, features and prospects of distribution

“Orange carrots must have existed before because we see them in Byzantine images,” said researcher from the Belgian group, Yves de Smet.

De Smet believes that combining such findings with genetic research could yield interesting results, an approach the team calls #ArtGenetics.

The team noted that the paintings and genetics had previously proven to be complementary: Ancient Egyptian images of watermelons with green stripes confirm genetic analysis of a 3,500-year-old watermelon leaf from the tomb of the pharaohs. It is assumed that the fruit was already domesticated at that time, having a sweet red flesh.

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