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Picturing a World

Fuchs’ iris

Gardening history is one of my hobbies, and I enjoyed giving Edward a pleasure I would dearly love to have had, namely, coming across a single illustration from Leonhart Fuchs’ illustrated herbal of 1542 at a stall by the river Seine.

Edward feels confident in buying it partly because of what he has learned from a stockbroker friend who collects prints. The friend is a shadowy figure even to me. He never appears in the action of the novel, and I don’t know much about him, but I suspect he lodged in my imagination after I saw Edgar Degas’ Collector of Prints reproduced in Robert L. Herbert’s Impressionism: Art Leisure & Parisian Society. When I looked at the reproduction again recently, I was delighted to find the flower lithographs behind the collector and in his hand.
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