Pineapple grown in Sir Matthew Decker’s garden at Richmond, Surrey As the first man in England to grow exotic pineapples from scratch, Matthew Decker, grandfather of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s founder, invited George I to sup on his delicious home-grown marvels. To mark the event, he commissioned the renowned portraitist and fruit-painter Theodore Netscher to paint this substantial portrait of the pick of the crop victoriously flourishing in an English Eden. Dated 1720, its proud Latin dedication states: ‘To the perpetual memory of Matthew Decker, baronet, and Theodore Netscher, gentleman. This pineapple, deemed worthy of the royal table, grew at Richmond at the cost of the former, and still seems to grow by the art of the latter. H[enry] Watkins set up this inscription, A.D. 1720’.
Theodorus Netscher (1661– 1728)
London, England, 1720 Oil on canvas
Founder’s Bequest, 1816 (357)