|Pages/Publication Date:||521 / 2010|
No flower has captured the imagination in quite the same way as the rose, and here, the author of Seven Flowers sets out to uncover how it has been viewed by various cultures across the centuries. Beginning her story in the Greek and Roman empires, Jennifer Potter travels across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas to unravel its evolution from a simple briar of the northern hemisphere to the height of cultivated perfection found in rose gardens today. Whether laying bare the flower's long association with sexuality and secret societies, questioning the Crusaders' role in bringing roses back from the Holy Land, or hunting for its elusive blooms in the gardens of the Empress Josephine, Potter reveals why this flower, above all others, has provoked such fascination. Most of the more than 150 illustrations in this "beautifully produced and meticulously researched" (Observer) book are in color, and chart how the rose has been depicted in art, from the frescoes of Pompeii through the heyday of abstract expressionism.