If you look at any patch of overgrown grass, unless you get low-down and close-up, it can look rather homogenous; green vegetation, absent of flowers with colour, is often overlooked. Yet what from a distance may seem similar in form and colour, on closer inspection is usually a more extensive collection of uniquely growing plants, with often 10-20 different species present.
The Great Piece of Turf is a watercolour by Albrecht Dürer painted in Nuremburg in 1503. The work is considered a masterpiece of realism. Unlike botanical art that separates its botanical subjects out, Dürer’s painting keeps everything together that you would expect to see together, in beautiful wild plant confusion. Yet the accuracy with which he has rendered it all has enabled the identification of individual species; with grasses cock’s-foot, creeping bent and smooth meadow-grass, plus daisy, dandelion, germander speedwell, greater plantain, hound’s-tongue and yarrow all present. Variation of form within species has also impressed botanical experts.
To understand its historical significance, and other things, see video by Khan Academy below. The painting itself can be seen at the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria.