Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bosc Pear

Bosc Pear
2/10. Bosc Pear, oil on linen panel, 6x4 in. SOLD

I forgot to upload this after my Gary post. Interestingly, there is a Charleston connection in the story of horticulturist Louis Augustin Guillaume Bosc, the pear's namesake. I found the following today on the
website of the Illinois Mycological Association, of all places:

Bosc grew up in France, and spent only a few years in the U.S., arriving in Charleston, South Carolina in 1796. As with many mycologists of his era, he was not only interested in fungi; he investigated and published on a wide variety of organisms. Mémoires sur quelques espèces de Champignons des parties méridionales de l'Amérique Septentrionale is his only work on American fungi.

In addition to his natural history works, Bosc also "edited" An appeal to impartial posterity: or, A collection of tracts written by her during her confinement in the prisons of the Abbey, and St. Pelagie, in Paris by Mme Roland (1754-1793), wife of the Minister of the Interior, who, as you can see from her dates, did not survive her imprisonment. The Appeal was directed at "her only daughter, deprived of the fortune of her parents by sequestration." I put the quotes around "edited," above, because I assume that Bosc did little besides smuggle the manuscript out and shepherd it through publication. N.S. Weber & A.H. Smith (1985) say that when Bosc came to this country, it was to put some distance between himself and "an unfortunate love affair." I certainly hope that it was not with Mme Roland; having your lover guillotined in the Red Terror is certainly one of the more awful ways to end a relationship.

And one of the messiest...

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