Sour Orange, Terrestrial Mollusk, and Larkspur

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Object Details


Sour Orange, Terrestrial Mollusk, and Larkspur


Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600)

and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575)


Flemish and Hungarian


Vienna, Austria (Place created)


1561 - 1562; illumination added 1591 - 1596


Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment


Leaf: 16.6 x 12.4 cm (6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.)

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On this page, Hoefnagel echoed the swirling lines of calligraphy with the curved, stocky body of a terrestrial mollusk; likewise, the rounded sections of the orange in the center resemble the twisting loops created by the calligrapher. The graceful petals and delicate lavender color of the larkspur blooms to the right, meanwhile, balance the more robust forms of the marine animal and piece of fruit. One of the illumination's most charming details is the almost mischievous look the mollusk seems to direct outward to the viewer.

Related Works
Picturing the Natural World (June 17 to September 7, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 17 to September 7, 2003
Education Resources

Education Resource




Flora and Fauna as Figures of Speech

Students create create a work of art that illustrates a figurative saying with a drawing of flora and/or fauna, and text written in ornate script.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Three/Five-Part Lesson