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The Language of Flowers: Symbols And Myths [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Language of Flowers: Symbols And Myths by Marina Heilmeyer...

The Language of Flowers: Symbols and Myths Marina Heilmeyer

This revised flexi-cover edition of a popular gift book of Renaissance and Baroque floral paintings features numerous full-color illustrations and informative commentary.

Arranged alphabetically, the flowers depicted in this book by artists such as Brueghel and William Morris display a full array of emotions and ideals, declarations of love, gestures of gratitude, and expressions of sympathy. Each full-color, full-page illustration is accompanied by a descriptive text explaining the flower's symbolism, mythological importance, and meaning in the present day. From Hippocrates' discovery of the healing powers of the iris to the daffodil's connection with Christ's resurrection, this captivating collection of botanical art, enhanced by Marina Heilmeyer's insightful commentary, reminds us of the power and eloquence of nature's most exquisite gifts.

Marina Heilmeyer is a botanist and art historian at the Botanical Museum in Berlin. Her botanical commentary is featured in the highly acclaimed Maria Sibylla Merian: New Book of Flowers (Prestel).

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Item Specifications...

Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.47" Width: 9.06" Height: 0.63"
Weight:   1.81 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 30, 2006
Publisher   Prestel Publishing
ISBN  3791335707  
ISBN13  9783791335704  

Availability  0 units.

More About Marina Heilmeyer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marina Heilmeyer has long been associated with the Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum in Berlin. She has organized several garden-related exhibitions and is the author of a number of books on flowers and fruits.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Criticism
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art Instruction & Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Mythology > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Folklore & Mythology

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Language of Flowers: Symbols And Myths?

BOOK IS TOO TINY!  Mar 16, 2006
THIS Book is the size of a playing card and there is so little information in it PASS IT BY! 60 Little pages with a few sentences on each flower. The full color pictures just do not make up for what I thought would be Good reading. Give it away as a door prize.
Excellent Photos!  Jan 4, 2004
As an artist I am always in search of books that are not only interesting to read, but primarily filled with great photographs of works. This book is filled with wonderful original works...all in color. I would also say that "don't judge a book by it's cover" applies to this one because it not only contains floral "plates" like the one on the cover, but also stunning trompe l'oeil still lifes with a floral theme. This is a wonderful little book!!
The Meanings Attributed to Flowers Beautifully Displayed!  May 15, 2001
Anyone who has read the Bible or romantic poetry knows that flowers are often used as symbols. What may not have occurred to you is that the person you receive flowers from or give flowers to may read a message into the selections in the arrangement. If you are like me, you will never again select flowers as gifts solely for their aesthetic qualities. The book's strength is an outstanding choice of paintings used to illustrate the flowers discussed as well as their symbolism. You will be pleased to find the references for these paintings in the book so you can explore the works separately from the book.

Ms. Heilmeyer is both a botanist and an art historian in Berlin, which makes her eminently qualified to explore this subject. Her review of the history of flower symbolism begins in ancient Egypt and moves forward in time through Greece, Rome, and Christian sources across Western Europe. Her key point is that "Throughout the ages flowers have played an important role in expressing feelings, or when joyful or sad news had to be delivered."

The book is organized so that you get one page of essay facing one page of art illustration. The essay page will often have some small botanical illustrations on it. In total, you will find 156 color illustrations, almost all of which are wonderful! I was especially impressed that Ms. Heilmeyer was able to find botanical photographs that so aptly captured the symbolic elements of the flowers. On the top right of the page with the essay, the symbolic meanings are summarized to make it easier to use the book as a reference when assembling a message through an arrangement.

I was struck that many flowers symbolize different things totally in the religious versus the lay context. The potential for mixed messages is strong in those cases.

Here are a few flowers and some of their symbolic meanings to give you a flavor of what you will learn in the book:

Columbine (Aquilegia) -- wisdom and strength, piety and fear; a symbol of salvation, the triumph of life over death; an aphrodisiac;

Thistle -- Scotland's national emblem; a symbol of hard work, suffering and Christ's deliverance; dispels melancholy;

Strawberry -- First fruit of the year; a symbol of purity and sensuality, fertility and abandance, humility and modesty;

Camellia -- A symbol of the transience of life;

Crocus -- Symbol of the Resurrection and heavenly bliss;

Stock -- Symbol of happy life and contented existence;

Lily -- Purity;

Lily of the Valley -- A symbol of the Virgin Mary;

Daisy -- The love flower;

Daffodil -- The promise of eternal life;

Carnation -- Bravery, love, and friendship; symbol of Mother's Day;

Peony -- An arden love of God;

Rose -- Love and joy; and

Pansy -- Sign of the Holy Trinity; symbolizes loyalty.

The obvious application of this book is to make up bouquets that are meaningfully beautiful. I hope you will use it that way to bring you closer to those you love.

After you have finished enjoying this book and making many wonderful arrangements that you would not have considered before, I suggest that you also think about other natural items that have symbolic meanings and employ them as well to expand your visual use of language.


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