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Beautiful Free Antique Watercolor Fruit Images To Download

Even at my age I still come across words I never heard of before, (or I just forget them). My latest new word is Pomology which according to Wikipedia is a branch of botany that studies and cultivates fruit. I came across the word when I find a bunch of absolutely gorgeous watercolor fruit paintings from the US Departement of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Fruit Collection.

For illustrations of whole fruit trees check out the tree posters of Larousse.

The Best Vintage Watercolor Fruit Paintings

The Pomological Watercolor collection is an amazing archive of thousands of amazing watercolour fruit paintings and line drawings. There are over 3000 paintings of apples alone in the collection. Many varieties of which no longer exists. Most of the watercolour paintings were completed between 1886 to 1916 by several different artists.

Here I have curated a collection of some of my favourite fruit paintings from the collection which are copyright free. I also have a selection of vintage avocado drawings from the collection.

watercolor fruit prints

The downloaded vintage watercolor fruit paintings will be of a higher resolution than the images below.

To download the paintings just click on the highlighted title link and a PDF or Jpeg of the watercolor fruit and it will automatically download to your device.

Watercolour Fruit: Apple & Pear Paintings

Apples and pears along with plums are part of the rose family. Apples are one of the most commonly cultivated fruits. They are grown all over the world but originated from Central Asia. Like most fruits apples are believed to have health benefits, hence the common saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

There are over 8,000 varieties of apple and over 3,000 in the watercolor fruit paintings of them in the Pomological collection. Here I have selected some of the best apple paintings.

Free apple and pear prints

1. Green Apple Watercolor – Mann Variety

Watercolor fruit painting of the Mann variety of apples painted in 1912 by Ellen Schutt.

Mann variety of apple

2. Red Apple Fruit Illustration – Ingram Variety

Illustration of the Ingram variety of apples painted by Amanda Newton in 1911.

3. Watercolor Apple Illustration – Willow Variety

A watercolor illustration of a Willow apple by Mary Arnold 1917. Mary Arnold was one of the post prolific artists at the USDA. Between 1908 and 1940 she painted over 1060 watercolor fruit illustrations.

watercolor fruit painting of an apple

4. English Pear Watercolor Painting

Another one of Mary Arnolds fruit paintings this time of an English Jargonelle variety of pears (Pyrus communis). Painted in 1912.

5. Hoover Apple Illustration

Hoover apple variety painted by Amanda Newton in 1907.

6. Watercolor fruit painting – Anju Pear

An Anju Pear painted by Ellen Shutt in 1910. The USA is one of the largest growers of pears in the world. Most of the pears are grown in the West Coast states of Oregon and Washington. Every pear in the US is picked by hand.

Illustration of an Anju pear

Vintage Citrus Fruit Illustrations

Citrus fruits include crops such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and pomelos. Pomelo is one of my favourite fruits, it is the largest of all the citrus fruits.

We used to have a Pomelo tree in our garden in Hong Kong that produced a few fruits every year. The pomelo is a popular festival fruit in South East Asia, especially with New Year celebrations. There are many health benefits associated with eating citrus fruits. They contain high levels of vitamin C.

Free citrus fruit prints

7. Watercolour Fruit – Tangelo

This lovely picture is of the Un-Shu variety of tangelo (Citrus tangelo) painted in 1908. A tangelo is a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a tangerine.

Watercolor tangelo pictureboxblue.com

8. Watercolor Illustration Sport Lemon

The Sport variety of lemon. This watercolor was painted in 1885.

Lemons originally come from South Asia. They have both culinary and non-culinary uses. The juice of the lemon has a sour taste making it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as Lemon Drizzle Cake and Meringue Pie. Lemons are also used to flavor savory dishes especially those containing fish and seafood.

The acidic nature of lemon juice also makes a good cleaner especially for the removal of limescale. 

9. Grapefruit illustration

Watercolor of triumph variety of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi).

Grapefruits originate from Barbados and are a hybrid between oranges and Pomelo. They are sour like lemons but also bitter too. People on medication have to be careful about eating grapefruits and the juice as it can interfere with the performance of many drugs.

watercolor fruit painting grapefruit

10. Watercolor Fruit Illustration Navel Orange

Painting of a Navel orange by Amanda Newton, 1914.

Oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the world. It is a hybrid between a pomelo and a mandarin. Brazil is the largest grower of oranges in the world followed by the USA and China. Orange juice is such an important product that it is one of the commodities traded on the New York Board of Trade.

11. Watercolor Fruit Illustration – Persian Lime

Persian lime painted in 1909 by Elsie Lower.

The Persian lime is the most widely grown and popular variety of limes. The fruit turns yellow as it ripens, but it is often sold while still green.

Persian lime print

12 Schang Pomelo – Vintage Fruit Print

Schang variety of pomelo, painted by Mary Arnold in 1931.

Vintage pomelo print

Vintage Prints of Berry Fruits

Fruit berry prints

13 Botanical Illustration of Sparhawk Cherries

Watercolor Sparhawk cherries (Prunus avium) painted 1915.

Cherry blossom is one of my favourite flowers. The street I live on is lined with cherry trees. It looks so pretty in spring when they are in full blossom. I’d love to visit Japan in spring one year to visit the famous cherry blossom parks.

14. Early Giant Strawberries Print

A 1916 painting of the Early Giant variety of Strawberries by Mary Arnold.

Technically in botanical terms the Strawberry isn’t a berry. China grows the most strawberries.

At the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament 28,000 kg of Strawberries is eaten with an average of 10,000 liters of cream over the fortnight. This winning combination has been served at every tournament since the first ever Wimbledon tournament in 1877.

Early giant strawberries watercolor fruit painting

15. Eaton Red Raspberries – Watercolor Fruit Painting

Botanical painting of Eaton variety of red raspberries by Ellen Schutt 1906.

Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits to pick in the wild. They grow all along the hedge rows near my home. Be careful to only pick the ripe ones though. Unlike other fruits raspberries do not continue to ripen once picked.

Eaton red raspberries

16. Vintage Botanical Painting – Blackberries

A watercolor fruit print of blackberries painted by Amanda Newton 1913.

Blackberries are another favourite fruit of mine to pick in the wild. They grow along the river bank near my home and in August I can normally pick a few kilos of them in a morning.

I do wear long sleeves and gloves when blackberry picking as the branches are super thorny. The hassle in avoiding the spikes is well worth it for the delicious apple and blackberry crumble I make with the fruit.

blackberries on branch

17. Blueberry Watercolor

A 1915 watercolor painting of blueberries by James Shull.

My first wild blueberries were picked from the forest floor in Norway. Blueberries are the only food naturally blue in colour. They are also have one of the highest antioxidant health benefits in a comparison with more than 40 fresh fruits and vegetables.

Watercolor blueberries

18. Vintage Botanical Painting Cranberries

A 1914 watercolor painting of the Jumbo variety of American Cranberries by Mary Arnold.

Cranberries will always be associated with Christmas. No Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner is complete without cranberry sauce.

Jumbo cranberries

Tropical Watercolor Fruit Paintings

Free tropical fruit prints

19. Mangosteen Watercolor

Mangosteen illustration

20. Botanical Painting Mango

Watercolor illustration of the Hayden variety of mango by Royal Charles Steadman, 1923.

More fresh mangoes are eaten every day than any other fruit. The mango is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh. In India, harvest and sale of mangoes are during March–May and this is annually covered by news agencies.

Mango watercolor print

21. Pineapple Watercolor

Watercolor fruit pineapple painting by James Shull 1919.

I think of the pineapple as the king of fruits, it is so majestic looking with its armor and crown. The pineapple is actually a welcoming symbol, which is perhaps why it’s such a popular image in home interiors.

Pineapple watercolor

22. Watercolor Papaya

Botanical illustration of a cut papaya by Mary Arnold, 1912.

The ripe fruit of the papaya is usually eaten raw it is enhanced with a squeeze of lime. The unripe green fruit can be eaten cooked and is used as an ingredient in salads. Raw papaya is a very popular ingredient in Thai cuisine like the famous Sam Tom salad.

papaya painting

23. Watercolor Fruit Print – Guava

A 1906 watercolor fruit illustration of the Guava by Amanda Newton.

Guava is often labeled as “super fruit” because it contains 4 times more vitamin C than orange, 3 times more proteins and 4 times more fiber than pineapple, 2 times more lycopene than tomato and slightly more potassium than a banana. Guava juice is delicious and a family favourite.

Pomological watercolor of a guava

24. Pomegranate Illustration

Botanical painting of pomegranate by Amanda Newton from the Pomological Watercolor Collection.

The name pomegranate means apple with many seeds. The seeds and the jelly like flesh surrounding them are the edible parts of the pomegranate. Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants. My favourite use for pomegranates is in Middle Eastern salads.

Pomegranate print

25. Watercolor Illustration of Avocado

A 1916 watercolor painting of the Wagner avacado by Royal Charles Steadman.

Yes, avocados are a fruit and not a vegetable. Avocados contain four grams of protein, making them the fruit with the highest protein content.

Avocado print

Adolphe Millot has drawn some wonderful fruit and vegetable posters and identification charts which you can also print for free. There are some wonderful vintage vegetable illustrations here that include a few fruits too.

Don’t forget to check out these other posts

ANNETTE MURBY-SHANAHAN

Sunday 26th of September 2021

These are just gorgeous thank you!

claire

Monday 27th of September 2021

Thank you, glad you enjoyed them.

Lisa Bates

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

Thank you! These are beautiful.

claire

Thursday 22nd of July 2021

Thank you so much, I'm glad you have enjoyed them.

Andrea

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful collections. Have downloaded lots and hoping to print for framing and decoupage.

claire

Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Thank you, I'm so pleased that you have enjoyed them. Watch this space many more illustrations to come.

Toko

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

Dear Claire,

Thank you so much for sharing, there are so beautiful. I will use orange one for my cocktail menus and brochures of a bar in Tokyo, for sure I can design good one with this!

Thank you and have a great weekend :) toko

claire

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

Thank you, that sounds like a great idea.

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Friday 14th of June 2019

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