The present watercolour is a typical botanical study by Gherardo Cibo, in that the over-sized, up-rooted specimen is suspended before a miniature landscape which places the plant in its natural habitat. The strong pen and ink outlines with colouring are more in keeping with the woodcut tradition of early herbals.
Cibo would often place a herbalist in his landscapes, and Wilfred Blunt speculatively suggests that they represent self-portraits of the artist (see W. Blunt and W.T. Stearn, The Art of Botanical Illustration, London, 1994, pp. 89-95, pls. 26 and 92).
Winter Aconite is a perennial, tuberous-rooted flower from the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family. It is native to Europe and western Asia and flourishes in a moist soil, such as one finds in the Italian lowlands.