Pomona Artificiale

model of grapesFrancesco Garnier-Valletti was one of the last model makers of the 19th century to produce replicas of flowers and fruits for scientific and documentary purposes. He named his work “Pomona artificiale” (“Artificial Pomona”). It consists of thousands of models of fruits that are identical to the originals, not only in form and colour, but also in weight.

Garnier’s “secret” lay in his use of a specially designed material which, when softened by heat, could be worked, smoothed, shaped and set, but once cooled, acquired the consistency and resistance of plaster, yet without the brittleness or weight.

The University of Milan’s collection, detailed in a catalogue entitled La collezione Garnier Valletti, is preserved in the Department of Plant Production, and currently includes 792 models acquired in 1869 from the Horticultural Society of Lombardy.

For more information
Department of Plant Production[open a new window] (Italian text)
Via Celoria 2 – 20133 Milano