image ap_36_14_5
Image number: RS.12840
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Grape vines




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

Object type

Archive reference number



height (painting): 380mm
width (painting): 276mm


   > Botany

Content object

   > plant


Botanical studies of grape vines Vitis vinifera. Three figures, showing a branch and trunk, a section of one-year growth branch and a root from 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 ‘The Aragonez’ is given in the plate’s heading and the date appears lower right, ‘San Christovao 10th April 1854’. The accompanying text states that the variety produces a ‘delicious small black grape and wine of fine bouquet’. The history of the specimen in the plate is also related: ‘The plate The Aragonez shews the vine with a decayed root but with a most perfect trunk – and of the fruit of which not a single grape escaped’. 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