Description & Technical information

The serpentine branches of a mangosteen tree and its glossy leaves with lime green undersides occupy most of the page. A pair of pink flowers with rounded petals and deep red tips appear in full bloom, while two more flowers are in bud. A lichen green fruit is immature while another of rich purple weights down the branch. A white succulent fruit has been painted beside its thick skin, illustrating the fragrant edible flesh that surrounds each seed.
Of Southeast Asian origin, mangosteen trees are now widely cultivated in the tropics.
Frequently referred to as the ‘queen of fruits’ they are believed to be a cooling fruit that counterbalance the heating properties of the durian or the ‘king of fruits.’
Mangosteen trees proved popular subjects for illustration amongst European botanists.
For a comparable illustration, see Magee, Chinese Art and the Reeves Collection, p. 49.

Date:  18th-19th century
Period:  1750-1850, 18th century, 19th century
Origin:  Probably Macau or Canton, China
Medium: Watercolour on paper
Dimensions: 47 x 35 cm (18¹/₂ x 13³/₄ inches)
Categories: Oriental and Asian Art, Paintings, Drawings & Prints