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Drawing - Citron-lemon, Citrus limonimedica
  • Citron-lemon, Citrus limonimedica
    Leonardi, Vincenzo
  • Enlarge image

Citron-lemon, Citrus limonimedica

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (probably, made)

  • Date:

    17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Leonardi, Vincenzo (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and bodycolour over chalk, with gum heightening , on paper mounted on larger sheet framed by wash lines

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case DP, shelf 15

This drawing is related to preparatory drawings for illustrations in J.B. Ferrari's book, 'Hesperides', first published in Rome in 1646. This was a publication describing the varieties of citrus fruit then in cultivation, with engraved illustrations of the fruit as well as views of gardens and of equipment for cultivating the trees. However, this particular drawing is not reproduced in Ferrari's book. It once formed part of the collection assembled by the great 17th-century antiquary and natural scientist Cassiano dal Pozzo. His collection of drawings is known as the 'Museo Cartaceo' or 'Paper Museum'. The majority of the collection passed into the British Royal Collections, where it remains, but in the 18th century several volumes of the drawings were sold and dispersed through the London art market. The V&A purchased several of these drawings in 1949, including other drawings of citrus fruits and two botanical drawings, all originally from Cassiano's collection. [See E.731, 732, 734, and 735-1949.]

Physical description

Drawing showing a citrus fruit with leaves, and below a section through the fruit. Watercolour and bodycolour over black chalk, with gum heightening , on paper mounted on larger sheet framed by wash lines.

Place of Origin

Italy (probably, made)


17th century (made)


Leonardi, Vincenzo (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and bodycolour over chalk, with gum heightening , on paper mounted on larger sheet framed by wash lines

Marks and inscriptions

sepia ink; below section of fruit


Height: 58.5 cm, Width: 43.5 cm

Object history note

This drawing was mounted in the 18th century. It comes from the collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. It is related to other drawings by Leonardi in dal Pozzo's collection which were engraved as illustrations to J.B. Ferrari's 'Hesperides', published in Rome in 1646; this one was not published.

Provenance: dal Pozzo; Albani; George III, by descent to George V; London art market (Mendelson); Mrs Helen de Beer

Descriptive line

Vincenzo Leonardi, Citron-lemon, Citrus limonimedica, early to mid 17th century, from the 'Paper Museum' of Cassiano dal Pozzo

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Paper Museum of Cassiano dal Pozzo: A Catalogue Raisonné. Series B - Natural History. Part One: Citrus Fruit by David Freedburg and Enrico Baldini (Harvey Miller Publishers, 1997), cat.70
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1949, London: HMSO, 1961.

Subjects depicted



Illustration; Drawings; Gardens & Gardening


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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