(The Hague, 1705). Merian’s primary interest was insects, but she used plant and vegetable props in all of her renderings. Unlike Raphaelle Peale, whose paintings are botanically correct, Merian’s pepper plant is actually a collage of different species and varieties all growing from the same branch. (See Peale’s still life with tomato in volume 3, color insert page 5.)
Bottom right: Mexico Cactus pears (Opuntia ficus-indica) are generally harvested in the summer. Fruits with red pulp are prized in the United States and Europe, whereas Mexicans generally prefer fruit with green pulp. Photo courtesy of Park S.