From Bud to Fruit: The Life History of a Cherry, 'Two states of Fruit'Artist:
William Henry Gill
, British, 1839 - 1923
Material and Medium: watercolour on paper
Dimensions: Frame: 849 x 645mm
Sight size: 36 x 63mm
Accession Number: CGSG00140
This study is the ninth in a series of ten showing the development over 74 days of a sprig of cherry tree. Gill was responding to lecture by John Ruskin in which he said: 'What we especially need to know of plants for educational purposes, is, not their anatomy, but their biography… We want them drawn from their youth to their age, from bud to fruit.'
Later, in his botany book ‘Proserpine’, Ruskin looked at the development of the cherry plant in reverse order, concluding that the function of the fruit is to make the flowers: 'You are fond of cherries perhaps, and think that the use of the cherry-blossom is to produce cherries. Not at all: the use of cherries is to produce cherry-blossom, just as the use of bulbs is to produce hyacinths, - not of hyacinths to produce bulbs.' Ruskin concluded that the flower is more important than the fruit because plants don’t only multiply through fruit seeds, but also by bulbs and roots.