Nature and its symbols
Impelluso, Lucia (2004) Nature and its symbols, Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Flora, Spring, Season, Woman, Fields, Five senses, Smell, Arrangement, Association, Notion, Life, Death, Purity, Still lifes, Petals, Composition, Vases, Earthly, Possessions, Plants, Habitat, Symbolism, Representation, Popularity, Beauty, Painting, Bloom.
Impelluso (2004: 74) ‘Since antiquity, the image of the flower has been associated with the notion that both life and beauty are short lived’.
Impelluso (2004: 79) The representation of this flower is also sometimes associated with humility, since its corolla faces down. Indeed this quality
Impelluso (2004: 79) ‘Lily of the valley is one of the first flowers to bloom each year, announcing the arrival of spring. Some have considered it a symbol of the Savior’s Advent, as well as his incarnation, because of the plant’s habit of sprouting at about the time of year when the coming birth of christ was announced to the Virgin Mary’.
Impelluso (2004: 82) ‘So great was the flower’s success that a specialized stock market was instituted in Amsterdam, where one could speculate on the colours of the new bulbs, winning and losing great sums of money in the process.’
Impelluso (2004: 85) ‘There are many passages devoted to the lily in the Old Testament, where it is attributed qualities of fertility, beauty and spiritual flowering’.
Impelluso (2004: 101) ‘The jasmine, a flower much loved in Eastern cultures, has been a poetic and literary inspiration on countless occasions’.
Impelluso (2004: 111) ‘In ancient Greece, the god of sleep, Hypnos, was customarily represented wearing a crown of poppies’.
Notes and paraphrasing:
- The opium poppy originated from Asia before being presented to the Mediterranean a long time ago. It’s name derived from papaver somniferum a phrase of which the ancients spoke. The poppy is conceptually linked to the Greek myth the god of sleeps and dreams due to its symbolical meaning of eternal sleep. The flower is renown for growing in fields of grain to this day.
- Flowers have many religious connotations.
- The flower jasmine can be alternatively known as jasminium officinale originated from India and has been recognized since past events, the flower is a subject matter often portrayed by many artists. The jasmine flower is often connected with effortless beauty and adoration and because of this association it is believed that the religious connotation for the heavenly flower is Virgin Mary.
- At the beginning of the seventeenth century flowers were high in demand due to their great popularity especially in Europe. Thanks to mixing different species of flowers together, variations began to grow, many of which were particularly distinctive making more desirable to have because of their rarity. The most prized possession of the time was the sky-blue tulip, the flowers self importance was one of vanity of worldly materials.