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Sour Orange, Terrestrial Mollusk, and Larkspur
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Joris Hoefnagel, illuminator; Georg Bocskay, scribe
Flemish and Hungarian, illumination 1591-1596, script 1561-1562
Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment
6 9/16 x 4 7/8 in.
MS. 20, FOL. 33

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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.