A New Look

One hour lectures fully supported by Powerpoint slideshows and video. Fact filled and superbly illustrated they are informative and entertaining.

Titles below LINK to lecture details - - link selected will appear immediately below this type block.

- Man's Best Friends in Art & History: Cats & Dogs - 2 lectures
- Man's Strength for 35,000 years: The Horse in Art & History - 1 lecture
- Art between the Covers: Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts - 1 lecture
- Flower Power - Flowers in Life, Art and History - 1 lecture
- Poetry & Readings, or Made to Order

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Power of Flowers in Life, Art and History

Manuscript illumination, Romance of the Rose

1 Lecture

First half - an appreciation of flowering plants from botanical fact to greek myths to flowers as symbols of power... and sometimes the star in dramatic events.  Second half - "The Tulip", an extraordinary story of a flower that ravished the Middle East and Europe, its celebration by artists in the glorious still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age and the economic debacle caused by its beauty in 17th century Holland.


The power of flowering plants in botanical fact is awesome:  think of how their life force to 'be' and 'recreate' can push sidewalks apart - and at the same time the mesmerizing beauty of their flowers.   It does you well to have respect for flowers!

Their origins lie in a time when the world's continents were one - that's fact!  However the convoluted fictional Greek origin myths deserve a look, as does the power that flowers achieved as symbols for monarchy and royalty.  

And the language of flowers:  in Medieval times both in manuscripts and art, its references were often religious or highlighted chivalric values;  in Victorian times that language became more extensive and much more suggestive - especially in one portrait of a famous courtesan! 

What is it about flowers and sex?  The Linnaean system of naming plants (the basis of today's nominal system) was what Linnaeus called his "sexual ordering" of plants, creating a sensation when first published since he revelled in suggestive language to describe his thesis. But not everyone was impressed: the British Encyclopedia got quite huffy: "Tsk! Tsk! No sex please, we're British!"

Jacob Marrell

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