2/13. Bosc Pears, oil on linen panel, 7x5 in. SOLD
From a post on everything2.com,
Before the Middle Ages, the pear had been considered a superior fruit to the apple. By the end of the Sung Dynasty (China, A.D. 1279), over one hundred varieties of pear existed while there was but one apple. This preference for the pear carried over to Greece and Rome as well. A discussion of fruit growth by the Greek writer Theophrastus included grafting and cross-pollination techniques for pears alone; in Rome, Pliny the Elder described 41 varieties of pear, while only three types of apple were noted.