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Deformed broccoli

c. 1650

RCIN 921143

An interest in deformed specimens was common among seventeenth-century collectors. The study of ‘strange and monstrous objects, in which nature deviates and turns from her ordinary course’ (in the words of the philosopher Francis Bacon) was considered essential to understanding the workings of nature. This anomalous head of broccoli, with an enlarged and flattened stem and irregularly attached leaves, is depicted life size.

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