The Secret Language of Flowers: Notes on the Hidden Meanings of Flowers in Art

During his 2012 residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel (born 1964) delved into the archives of the magnificent garden that Isabella Stewart Gardner, the first American woman to graduate with a degree in horticulture, cultivated around her residence.

Othoniel examined the Museum and photographed the flowers in the tapestries, ironwork, architecture, furnishings and paintings, in such masterpieces as van Dyck's Portrait of a Woman with its innocuous rose, Piermatteo d'Amelia's Annunciation with its majestic lily and Bartolomé Bermejo's Saint Engracia with its enigmatic palm.

This gift-worthy volume presents his art-historical ABC of these flowers, from Acanthus to Zea Mays.

By Jean-Michel Othoniel
192 pages
Published by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2015
Hardcover
5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches



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