Shaykh, Flowers. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
on Postal Stamps
Mignon Abraham, Vase of Flowers. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Dedicated to the birthday of Michaela, my beloved wife 

      Flowers became an inseparable part of the arts of the mankind starting from the time of its "golden childhood" - antiquity. Flower festivals were held in Ancient Rome in honor of goddess Flora and women used to compete in running and wrestling accompanied by the sounds of horns and kettle-drums.

Halapy Painting Van Gogh Painting Van Gogh Painting Koszta Painting
Halapy Janos, Hungarian Vincent van Gogh, Dutch Vincent van Gogh, Dutch Koszta Josef, Hungarian

     The winners were strewn with flowers and awarded with wreaths. Rose was a sacred flower of Venus, her attribute in the Renaissance and later. The Renaissance associated rose and Venus because of the beauty and odor of this flower and compared scratches of the rose thorns with the wounds of love.

Bosshaert Painting Dufy Painting Leprade Painting Manet Painting
A. Bosschaert, Dutch Raoul Dufy, French Pierre Leprade, French Edouard Manet, French

    In Christian symbolism rose also obtained special importance: red rose symbolizes blood of a martyr, white rose is a symbol of purity of the Virgin who was otherwise called a "rose without thorns". Lily in Christian art also symbolizes purity of the Virgin. 

Luechtenstein, 2000. Roelant Savery, A Flowers Bouquet. 1602. Rubin and Ametyst
Roelant Savery, Flemish Alfons Mucha, Czech

     Archangel Gabriel hands a lily to Madonna in the scene of the Annunciation. Numerous flowers fill in the background of "millefiori" tapestries commemorating the festivals of the Holy Body of Christ when European towns were buried in flowers.

A. 
E. Delacroix, French Henrika Beyer, Polish Kolasinski, Polish Vincent van Gogh, Dutch

     In the still lives of the 17th century flowers played the main role reminding about perishable nature of the world and brevity of pleasures as short as the life of a flower. The gallantry age, the 18th century, in Europe considered flowers as decorative elements of life. They were everywhere - in the decor of interiors, painted panels, costumes and accessories.

Arellano Painting Redon Painting Chagall Painting
Juan de Arellano, Spanish Odilon Redon, French Sulayman Seyyit, Turkish Marc Chagall, French

     Taking delight in contemplating flowers was a source of refined pleasures in the Eastern countries. Flowers decorated ceramics, fabrics and works of calligraphic art there. Miscellaneous forms and colors of flowers could not fail to attract artists of new trends of art in the 19th-20th centuries. Flowers became an inexhaustible source for creative experiments.

Revised: 12/04/08. Copyright 1997 - 2000 by Victor Manta, Switzerland. All rights reserved in all countries.

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