Verbal and pictorial hosannas to the strawberry have been rolling in for eons. In 1795 gentleman farmer, founding father, and future two-dollar-bill poster boy Thomas Jefferson, noted for raising strawberries on his Virginia plantation, wrote to his chum James Monroe that, in Jefferson's not-so-humble opinion, the plant was one of the few items that especially enriched the United States. And while the fruit decorates countless illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, figures prominently in a peck of paintings of the Madonna and Child by medieval European miniaturists, and populates numerous botanical studies over the centuries, it finds its most memorable, if bizarre, depiction in the large central panel of Dutch artist Hieronymus... More >>>