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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom

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Agriculture in Art

Giovanna Garzoni

Chinese Plate with Cherries and Bean Pods Chinese Plate with Cherries and Bean Pods, 1620

Giovanna Garzoni was one of the first women artists to practice the art of still life painting. Her paintings were so well liked that, according to one writer, she could sell her work "for whatever price she wished." One of Garzoni's earliest works, a 1625 calligraphy book, includes capital letters illuminated with fruits, flowers, birds, and insects. These subjects were to become her specialty, and tempera on vellum was her preferred medium. Garzoni's refined interpretation of plants and animals suited the taste of her aristocratic patrons, like the Medici family, and could be found decorating their villas.

Discussion and Activities
  • What shapes do you find in this painting?
  • Describe the texture.
  • Describe the light and shadow.
  • Discuss the depth perception.
  • What is the purpose of the beans?
  • How is the color of the cherries in this painting similar or different from the cherries you are accustomed to seeing?
  • How is the painting realistic or not realistic?
  • Make a list of adjectives to describe this painting.
  • Write a description of this painting.
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