The language of flowers Symbols and myths

Marina Heilmeyer

Book - 2001

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Subjects
Published
Munich : New York : Prestel c2001.
Language
English
Physical Description
95 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 27 cm
Bibliography
Includes index.
ISBN
3791323962
Main Author
Marina Heilmeyer (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Symbolism and mythology surround the history of flowers, influencing our responses and provoking emotions. While religious associations link sweet violets with the Virgin Mary and with Mohammed, who saw them as tokens of his teachings, we might more readily conjure up thoughts of connectedness when given a bouquet of forget-me-nots. From columbines and carnations to poppies and passion flowers, Heilmeyer examines images found in various exquisite paintings and finely detailed botanical illustrations, and recounts myriad beliefs, medicinal uses, and fascinating legends that have survived for eons. Many contemporary gardeners, for instance, look, like their ancestors did, to the Roman goddess Flora as a fitting figurehead for the countless ways flowers enhance our lives. This beautiful book offers vivid reminders of the complex relationship still taking place between flowers and mere mortals. ((Reviewed July 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Say it with Flowers," is a florist's cliché, but few realize how much flowers can convey. Marina Heilmeyer's The Language of Flowers: Symbols and Myths provides an engaging translation of their significance across centuries and cultures. Writing with journalist Susan Weiss, Heilmeyer, a botanist and art historian, explains the meanings and rituals surrounding 35 different flowers. Readers will learn that for Christians, ever since the Middle Ages, the daffodil has symbolized Christ's resurrection. Violets have an even longer-standing connection to the hereafter, dating back to the myth of Persephone, who was strolling through a meadow of violets when Hades kidnapped her. Rosemary, a symbol of love, was in ancient times burned at altars to appease or thank volatile gods. Contains over 100 elegant color illus., including drawings from 18th- and 19th-century botanical journals, and reproductions from painters like Jan Breughel and William Morris. ( July) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.