This small red poppy drawing is actually a reproduction of a portion of an illuminated page from an 1492 book of ordinances. (It was included in an 1890 tome of the annals of London’s barber-surgeons.) Who would think that a page of community rules for surgeons would include beautiful hand-drawn elements including a pair of saints, a colorful crown and this small red poppy? The rules are of course written in beautiful calligraphy of the period. Today, we’re lucky any sorts of community statutes are actually written down, much less presented in such a lovely fashion.
The red poppy was drawn with shades of orange and black on the five petals. The small leaves in between each petal create something of a radiant sun design.
In looking for a bit of poppy trivia to share with you, I just read that these lovely flowers can actually grow up to 4 feet tall. Never knew that there were any that big. Most of the ones I’ve seen growing in those lovely roadside flower beds inspired by Lady Bird Johnson only grow about a foot tall.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.