Meet Asparagus, The King Of Vegetables - Not Only For Vegetarians! - DailyArtDaily.com
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Published on July 5th, 2016 | by Magda Michalska

Meet Asparagus, The King Of Vegetables – Not Only For Vegetarians!

The season for asparagus is very short as it starts around the 23rd of April (St George’s Day) and lasts only till June. Its special qualities and delicate flavour have rendered it a hero of vegetables, loved by everyone from kings to artists.

Roman mosaic

Roman Mosaic, Pompeii, Casa dei Vetti

The Romans came up with food freezing  in the 1st  cent. BC to preserve their favourite asparagus longer and they devoted whole treaties to the ways it should be farmed (Cato the Elder and his „On Agriculture”).

Adriaen Coorte, A Bundle of Asparagus, 1703

Adriaen Coorte, A Bundle of Asparagus, 1703

In the Middle Ages asparagus was used as sedative but with time it gained a more (in)famous association as it was believed to stimulate love passion. A 17th Century herbalist,Nicholas Culpepper, wrote that asparagus “stirs up lust in man and woman”.

Édouard Manet, Asparagus, 1880

Édouard Manet, Bunch of Asparagus, 1880

 

Is it for its phallic shape that the French word ‘asperge’ means also ‘penis’? Is that why Manet liked to paint asparagus so much…?

Netherlands

Jacob Foppens Van Es, Still life with bunches of asparagus, 1631

In the Netherlands asparagus was certainly associated with luxury , prosperity and abundance…

Adriaen Coorte, Life of an earthenware bowl of wild strawberries, a bundle of asparagus and springs of gooseberry and redcurrants, all on stone ledge with a pale blue butterfly above, 1689

Adriaen Coorte, Life of an earthenware bowl of wild strawberries, a bundle of asparagus and springs of gooseberry and redcurrants, all on stone ledge with a pale blue butterfly above, 1689

… as together with strawberries and artichokes it symbolized the fruits of Paradise.

company

Jan Wittenberg, Still life with Asparagus, Orange and Egg, 1931

Asparagus can be enjoyed in company…

good

John Morra, Asparagus, 2008

…but it’s also good just on its own.

louis xiv

Eliot Hodgkin, Asparagus, 1961

Not only vegetarians love it since it was the Germans who in 1985 founded a museum dedicated to asparagus.

asparagus museum

Francesco Trombadori, Still life with Asparagi, 1928

Asparagus is simply a ‘king of vegetables’ as king Louis XIV dubbed it.

Find more asparagus inspirations:

     

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Meet Asparagus, The King Of Vegetables - Not Only For Vegetarians!
Description
Asparagus, the king of vegetables was also an inspiration for many artists. Here are couple of reasons why it was so important for art history.
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DailyArtDaily.com
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About the Author

Magda, an art historian-to-be, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Wei Wei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.



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