Jeremy Millar

Get Adobe Flash player

Goethe's Palm

Colour photograph; ink on admission ticket

While living in northern Italy in 1995, I made a number of journeys to visit the orto botanico (botanic gardens) in Padova, perhaps one of the most extraodinary in the world, despite its diminuitive size. It was while sitting here, beneath a palm tree, that the great German writer Goethe conceived of his notion that all plants derive from one original specimen, the Ur-Pflanze. For this work I sat beneath the same tree and attempted to memorise Goethe's entry describing this event, on 27 September 1786; this passage was then written, as accurately as possible, upon the ticket that allowed admission to the gardens.

Related works: