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Dragonfly, Pear, Carnation, and Insect
Flemish and Hungarian
Vienna, Austria (Place Created)
1561–1562; illumination added 1591–1596
Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment
Ms. 20 (86.MV.527), fol. 76
Leaf: 16.6 × 12.4 cm (6 9/16 × 4 7/8 in.)
By contrasting the geometric symmetry of the dragonfly laid out in the center of the page with the more curvilinear, asymmetrical shapes of the pear and carnation below, Joris Hoefnagel created a sense of balance in this illumination. From the diaphanous quality of its intricately patterned wings to the textures of its hard, glossy body and delicate, feathery legs, he based the dragonfly's form on careful observation of nature. While the dragonfly appears to be laid out like a stiff scientific specimen, Hoefnagel imbued the imaginary insect on the right with life and movement as it gently alights on the carnation. The pear, with its fuzzy skin suggested by the use of tiny brushstrokes, casts a shadow, creating the illusion of a real pear placed on the page.
Art and Science: Joris Hoefnagel and the Representation of Nature in the Renaissance (November 3, 1992 to January 17, 1993)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), November 3, 1992 to January 17, 1993
Art and Science: Joris Hoefnagel and the Representation of Nature in the Renaissance (October 12, 1999 to January 16, 2000)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 12, 1999 to January 16, 2000
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This lesson plan explores still-life painting. Students create a still-life painting in watercolor from direct observation.
This lesson plan explores still-life painting. Students paint a still life in an opaque medium and write an artist's statement.
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