Right! So roses. A quick study in pink. I would agree. Roses are pretty dang spectacular. But you gotta ask yourself… out of ALL the flowers EVER, why are roses so heavily coveted as a romantic flower? Sure, you gave your girlfriends roses in school on valentines day to make up for the absence thereof, but still- they heavily exude this kind of power over people and society. But why?
Let’s research this, shall we? Let’s take a brief cruise through history to get a basic answer.
So, from what I gather, it is entirely possible that the rose originated from Asia around 70 million years ago. Through trade and general displacement of seed and flower, the rose made it’s way over Asia through central Asia and Europe. There is general disagreement in the scholastic world over how roses ended up in the Americas, but that discussion can wait for a different time. What interests me, and hopefully you, is the symbology of the rose and why it is a form of symbolic and metaphorical fixation within our current society.
Let’s start off with the obvious. The general form of the rose is incredibly reminiscent of the female form. Soft, petaled, tons of layers. In the Roman empire the rose was associated with the goddess Venus which was then adopted by the Christians to represent the Virgin Mary and was then eventually used in rosaries. In the Middle East, especially seen in Iran, roses became an internal part of geometric gardens. In Europe, the rose became the national flower of England after it’s civil war. (The Wars of the Roses, circa 15 century.) When the flower made its way to the Americas, it interbred with the surrounding species and developed new variations. These have been adopted as many state’s flowers.
Ok that’s settled. But what about the color theory?
RedLove, Beauty, Courage and Respect, Romantic Love, Congratulations, “I Love You”, “Job Well Done”, Sincere Love, Respect, Courage & Passion Red (Dark)Unconscious beautyRed (Single)“I Love You”Deep BurgundyUnconscious BeautyWhitePurity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility, Youthfulness, “I am worthy of you”, Heavenly White (Bridal)Happy lovePinkAppreciation, “Thank you”, Grace, Perfect Happiness, Admiration, Gentleness, “Please Believe Me”Dark PinkAppreciation, Gratitude, “Thank You”Light PinkAdmiration, Sympathy, Gentleness, Grace, Gladness, Joy, SweetnessYellowJoy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning, Welcome Back, Remember Me, Jealousy, “I care”Yellow with Red TipFriendship, Falling in LoveOrangeDesire, EnthusiasmRed and White Given together, these signify unityRed and YellowJovial and Happy FeelingsPeachAppreciation, Closing the deal, Let’s get together, Sincerity, GratitudePale PeachModestyCoralDesireLavenderLove at first sight, EnchantmentOrangeEnthusiasm, Desire, FascinationBlack *Death, FarewellBlue *The unattainable, the impossibleSingle – any colorSimplicity, GratitudeRed RosebudSymbolic of purity and lovelinessWhite RosebudSymbolic of girlhoodThorn-less Rose“Love at first sight”
Roses by the Numbers
- A single rose of any color depicts utmost devotion
- Two roses entwined together communicate “Marry me”
- Six Roses signify a need to be loved or cherished
- Eleven roses assure the recipient they are truly and deeply loved
- Thirteen roses indicate a secret admirer
I got this from rkdn.org, by the way.
My question, though, is how on earth did flowers somehow get their own language? Who made up that red roses are love and blue roses (not that I’ve actually ever seen one) means the unattainable? Lucky for you all, I found an answer.
It’s all thanks to the Middle Ages and those Victorians. As a brief recap of the Victorian era. We got Queen Victoria whose reign lasted from 1837-1901. This era is in direct response to the Enlightenment period, which was all about reason and fact. So the Victorian era swoops in and we got romance. We got industrial revolution. We got deforestation of countryside and mass influx into cities. Essentially back in the ye olde day of the Middle Ages, people attributed different “magical” qualities to herbs and plants which they in turn used for medicine. It kind of snowballed from there so giving certain plants became equivalent to trying to project a certain emotion or feeling. So when the Victorian Era rolled around, Queen Victoria thought that it was of upmost importance that gentlemen knew the, “language of flowers,” or to know what different flowers and plants represent.
For a more complete look at what different plants meant in the Middle Ages, check out this link.
So, in a SUPER condesned form that covers centuries of history, religion, social and political movement and academic ideologies; roses were a religious symbol from the Roman Empire espousing the beauty of the Goddess Venus which was then adopted over the globe as symbols of power and beauty. Coupled with the Middle Ages pattern of attributing meaning and purpose to plants, the Victorians cemented the importance of the, “language of flowers,” among the upper class which has permeated time and social custom to this day.
And THAT, my friends, is why you give red roses to your Valentine.
These are the links I used to form my analysis- take a look!
HA. You thought I had finally moved on from florals, huh?! NOPE HERE’S SOME MORE. (and a close up of a bee.)
I’m actually pretty proud of these pieces and how they came out!
Happy Monday, everyone!
I have a fascination with the forms and organic nature of florals. Now I know that sounds pretentious as all get out, but here me out. I’ve been taking pictures of florals for a long time, and by long time I mean as a hobby for say like maybe two years, so I have a bunch of them stored up for me to show you. Today’s florals are from the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk.
P.s., I solidly have no idea what kind of flowers these are. Like at all.
So anyway what really inspires me about these is the combination of texture and form, as well as the obvious depth of color. I like how the flowers in the topmost images are soft and fluffy which contrasts to the almost prickly nature of the flowers in the second and third image. The top flowers seem so cheerful! I like to think they are talking smack in flower-language about the roses next door. So over rated. I enjoy freedom, and to me the wild abundance of the flowers in the second and third image sing a song of, frankly, not giving a fuck. There’s a wispy nature to them that I adore which contrasts directly with the steadfast nature of their upright form.
It’s one of those things where the little things in life make the most impact on people, and I think that’s why I have such an admiration for florals. They’re, for the most part, small… but a bunch of them make a big impact!
Color submerges you. While black and white images are beautiful and exude a depth and dimension, color blushes against your skin. You can drown in color and not at all mind the descent into concentrated bliss. When I take photographs and when I paint and draw, sure. Black and white is cool. But color- color is warm.
Over the next how many days or whatever it takes, I want to show you all what I think color means, and how it affects my life. 🙂
Sundays, in my humble opinion, are supposed to be sleepy and warm. It’s one of those weird days of the week when you are SUPPOSED to just stop for a second and reflect on things and to spend with people you care about. Nobody has business meetings on Sundays. (Or at least I hope not!) So on my Sunday evening, I wanted to share some more of the images of lotus flowers I started posting yesterday… but then I got distracted and didn’t get a change. Whoops!
I should probably state now that any and all comments on how to improve any of my creative works are more than appreciated! Keep ’em coming.
I liked these flowers so much I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up making multiple posts of just images of these babies. Just look at em! They’re so much fun!