Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Virgil's Grapes


I was still a graduate student in Greek and Latin Classics when I did this pen-and-ink drawing. My Latin professor, a devotee of the Roman poet Virgil, commissioned me to do three drawings inspired by passages in the "Georgics," a set of poems by Virgil poetically describing idealized farming and country life. This one was about viticulture, that is, vineyard and grape growing. I used a pen technique which was very 19th century if not even earlier, and I put the Latin passage on a label-block which derived from ancient Roman inscriptions. I used a photograph of an ancient Italian vine overloaded with grapes, though real winery grapes are much more sparse and heavily pruned. The Latin line means, "Hence every vineyard teems with mellowing fruit." 

My professor and my academic career in Latin are long gone, but as you can see from my recent pursuits, the grape is still a major part of my poetic and idealized art work. 

Pen and (originally brown) India ink on Bristol illustration board, 8" x 10", spring 1978. This image is from a photostat. Click for larger view. 

1 comment:

Tristan Alexander said...

Nice grapes! Love this style of ink illustration.