Patricia Payne
Medieval Basil Growers
Oil & gold leaf on paper
23 x 20.5 cm
Relative Size: Medieval Basil Growers
Relative size

MEDIEVAL BASIL GROWERS - After a 14th Century Italian manuscript

In the late 14th Century illustrated manuscripts appeared which dealt with health issues, and educated people as to the beneficial properties of herbs, vegetables, fruit and other produce. Cooking and preserving information was included also. Basil is one of the widely used herbs in the Italian kitchen, it enhances many dishes, and is a delicious when coupled with tomatoes. It was thought that carrying a sprig of basil in one's pocket brings wealth, Sicilian lore associates Basil with love and in folk tales a young man accepting basil from a maiden is destined to fall in love with her

Here, an Italian nobleman lovingly tends his basil plants thriving in a terracotta urn. In the background, basil grows in the earth - illustrating that either method was possible. The dog stands by his master, not heeding the hare nearby. I purposely added the black hound - being almost certain he would have somehow aided in the cultivation of the basil plants! - Patricia Payne