ROSES IN ART - IMPRESSIONS OF THE MASTERS, SERIES I
The rose has been revered for millions of years as a symbol of love and beauty and has been an inspiration to poets and painters. Empress Josephine (1763-1814), wife of Napoleon was so enamored by them, she commissioned Pierre Redoute to paint them from her garden at Malmaison in France and immortalized in his book ‘Les Roses’ (1817-1824).
Throughout the centuries, artists had chosen the Rose, the Queen of Flowers, as the subject of their art. Artists use roses in their painting either as a single specimen, in a bouquet of flowers or in the landscape. Manet’s Roses in a Champagne Glass only portrayed roses. A calendar engraving by H. Fletcher in 1731 for the month of May contained a bouquet of different flowers. The list includes Cinnamon Rose and Yellow Austrian Rose. During the Baroque period, painters included the rose in their landscape painting.
In the early days of Christianity, the rose fell out of favor because of its association with pagan rituals but later on became the symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the “Mystical Rose”. The Christian mystics referred to the five petals of the red rose with the five wounds of Christ. Later beautiful stained glass rose windows adorned the great cathedrals of Europe. The famous Wilton Diptych, c. 1395 depicted a double rose on the two painted panels. Also the millefleur tapestry known as The Hunting of the Unicorn, c. 1500 shows more than 100 flowers including centifolia roses.
The Middle Ages ends between the fourteenth and the sixteenth centuries and then the Western world entered a new era called the Renaissance. Fifteenth century artists engaged in painting allegorical or mythical subject matters with roses incorporated into the landscape. Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510), a favorite of the Medici, Florence’s ruling family painted the famous painting, The Birth of Venus, c. 1480-1485 and Primavera c. 1482 featuring the rose.
Venus at the center of the painting surrounded by Cupid above her, Mercury and the Three Graces to her right, Zephyrus to her right chasing the nymph Chloris and Flora who was scattering rose petals on the lawn. In another famous painting of Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, c. 1480-1485, the rose was also featured.
The Birth of Venus
Here at Rose Gardening World, we’ll educate you about the Rose - our National Floral Emblem and the state flower of several states. Welcome to Rose Gardening World where Rose Gardening Tips, Rose Growing Advice, Planning a Rose Garden, Rose Descriptions, Where to Buy Roses, Where to see Rose Gardens, Rose Culture, Rose History, Rose Events, Rose Verses are all here in one place. So, plant a rose today!
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