Isabella and the Pot of Basil

Isabella and the Pot of Basil by by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale, ROI, RWS 1871-1945. c. 1898. Source: The Studio. E.B.S. comments in "Eleanor F. Brickdale, Designer and Illustrator" that the subject presumably represents “Isabella and the Pot of Basil, a design which every black-and-white artist is doomed to attempt sooner or later, again raises the query how a head can find room in so small a pot, with a plant that must needs have large roots. Basil (so a popular dictionary informs one) is an aromatic herb allied to thyme; possibly one day a designer will have courage to abanson the decorative shrub stuck in the middle of the pot, and give us an ample vessel with a low-growing herb over its surface — the sort of plant you can lift up with its roots interlaces, as one lifts a piece of turf. Then realism would be satisfied, and the record of the past broken” (108).

Related material: other versions of this subject

Formatting and text by George P. Landow [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


E.B.S. "Eleanor F. Brickdale, Designer and Illustrator." The Studio [London] 13 (1898): 106. Internet Archive. Web. 27 February 2012.

Created 27 February 2012