The period look flower arrangement

At different periods and in different countries, distinct styles of flower arrangement have emerged. The ancient Egyptians decorated rooms with cut flowers (mostly the Lotus, a Water Lily) and the Romans used festoons of Roses.

It can be fun to browse through art books of a particular period, or to do a little detective work in an art gallery, in order to spot, in paintings of interiors, just how the flowers used to be done – particularly if you have a room with furniture of a certain period. Some really good films set in the past are executed with much care to get historical detail right: keep an eye open for the flower arrangements in them when you visit the cinema or watch television.

Flower varieties in Europe were few in medieval times; even such familiar ones as Daffodils, Tulips, Lilacs and Pinks had yet to be introduced. But a solitary white Lily in a pewter jug (from a 15th-century painting now in New York) and branches of Fir with colourful Lilies and Roses (painted by Raphael on a ceiling in Rome) are simple and appealing ideas. Voluptuous groups of rambler Roses in soft colours, in the style of Boucher (who decorated La Pompadour’s boudoir) would strike the right note among rococo French furniture or Sevres porcelain of the mid 18th century. Sprays of Cherry blossom might be placed on a piece of chinoi-serie furniture, or beneath an old Japanese print hanging on the wall. Urns of fruit and Laurel leaves would enhance French Empire furniture. Chrysanthemums would look well in a room in which a fabric with a William Morris chrysanthemum pattern had been used for the curtains. Stylized Victorian posies might suit a mahogany table laid with Victorian cutlery. Huge Sunflowers could decorate a room in which there was a print of Van Gogh’s Sunflower picture, Josiah Wedgwood (who even wrote a pamphlet on how to arrange flowers) designed urn-shaped vases specially for them. Filled with graceful and loosely composed arrangements, these complement the Chippendale or Sheraton furniture of Wedgwood’s own time.

For a twenties look, use a simple and very plain curve of flowers in a geometric container of rough pottery or thick glass.

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