image ap_36_14_4
Image number: RS.12839
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Grape vines




Joseph James Forrester (1809-1861, British), Topographer

Object type

Archive reference number



height (painting): 380mm
width (painting): 270mm


   > Botany

Content object

   > plant


Botanical studies of grape vines Vitis vinifera. Four figures, showing last year’s branch, three year’s wood, the trunk three feet above ground, and the root two feet below ground. From the Douro wine region of Portugal.

Detail of an original illustration from the manuscript version of the paper ‘On the vine-disease in the port-wine districts of the Alto-Douro in April 1854. With a supplementary note on the proposed remedies for its eradication’, by J.J. Forrester. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, vol.7 (1854), pp.156-164.

The grape variety ‘Rabo da Ovelha, or Sheep’’s tail’ is given in the plate’s heading and the date appears lower right, ‘Alto-Douro 9th April 1854’. The accompanying text states that ‘the variety produced ‘small delicious white grapes’. The history of the figure is also related: ‘The plate Rabo da Ovelhha shews sections from a really decayed vine, but which last year gave the soundest fruit’. The subject of the paper, the impact of the grape disease commonly called phylloxera, was devastating for European wine production in the nineteenth century.

Joseph James Forrester (1809-1861) British wine merchant and topographer was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, best known for his survey of the Duoro wine-growing region of Portugal.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > Portugal