Plant Identification Guide: Frans Snyders, "Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables"

Frans Snyders (Flemish, 1579–1657), Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables, 1625–35, oil on canvas, The Norton Simon Foundation

The Flemish artist Frans Snyders observed the colors and textures of fruits and vegetables with almost scientific attention to detail, making them as recognizable today as they were in the 17th century. He organized the produce in his composition more or less by type, grouping together nuts, tree fruit and vegetables. The items shown here were recently identified by Sean Lahmeyer, Plant Collections and Conservation Manager at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. He confirmed that they would have ripened in different seasons, indicating that, despite the painting’s impressive naturalism, Snyders used his imagination to create this scene of fantastic abundance.

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8: hazelnut, Corylus avellana (Betulaceae)
18: chestnut, Castanea sativa (Fagaceae)
24: mulberry, Morus nigra var. (Moraceae)
25: plum, Prunus domestica var. (Rosaceae)
26: cherry, Prunus avium var. (Rosaceae)
27: strawberry, Fragaria vesca or F. moschata (Rosaceae)
28: peach/nectarine, Prunus persica var. (Rosaceae)
33: grape, Vitis vinifera var. (Vitaceae)

21: red currant, Ribes rubrum var. (Grossulariaceae)
23: fig, Ficus carica var. (Moraceae)
29: quince, Cydonia oblonga var. (Rosaceae)
31: apple, Malus domestica var. (Rosaceae)
33: grape, Vitis vinifera var. (Vitaceae)

1: onion/garlic, Allium cepa var. (Alliaceae)
2: beet, Beta vulgaris var. (Amaranthaceae)
3: chard, Beta vulgaris var. (Amaranthaceae)
6: artichoke, Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus (Asteraceae)
7: cardoons, Cynara cardunculus (Asteraceae)
9: radish, Raphanus raphanistrum ssp. sativus (Brassicaceae)
10: red cabbage, Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra (Brassicaceae)
12: pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima var. (Cucurbitaceae)
13: cantaloupe, Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis (Cucurbitaceae)
14: squash, Cucurbita pepo var. (Cucurbitaceae)
15: calabash, Lagenaria siceraria (Cucurbitaceae)
16: long melon, Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis (Cucurbitaceae)
19: King Stropharia or wine cap Stropharia, Stropharia rugosoannulata (Kingdom Fungi)
20: gooseberries, Ribes uva-crispa (Grossulariaceae)
32: tomato, Solanum lycopersicum var. (Solanaceae)

4: parsnip, Pastinaca sativa var. (Apiaceae)
5: asparagus, Asparagus officinalis (Asparagaceae)
6: artichoke, Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus (Asteraceae)
11: cucumber, Cucumis sativus var. (Cucurbitaceae)
17: pea, Pisum sativum var. (Fabaceae)
20: gooseberries, Ribes uva-crispa (Grossulariaceae)
21: red currant, Ribes rubrum var. (Grossulariaceae)
22: muskmelon, Cucumis melo (Inodorus Group)
30: pear, Pyrus communis var. (Rosaceae)
31: apple, Malus domestica var. (Rosaceae)


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