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Nature and Macro Photography at Palo Alto: The Web of Life

Nature and Macro Photography at Palo Alto: The Web of Life

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Nature and Macro Photography at Palo Alto: The Web of Life 1

Nature and Macro Photography at Palo Alto: The Web of Life 2

Nature and Macro Photography at Palo Alto: The Web of Life 3

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Nature and Macro Photography at Palo Alto: The Web of Life 6

Nature and Macro Photography at Palo Alto: The Web of Life 7

Nature and Macro Photography at Palo Alto: The Web of Life 8

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011 Coverage

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011 Coverage

This year I will be covering the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011. Thanks to the RHS and its members.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the best horticultural show on Earth celebrated in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London. Leading names in gardening design show their upmost creations to the world. Lifestyle at its best.

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Millennial Olive Trees Collection at Huerto de Elche Nursery (part 2)

Millennial Olive Trees Collection at Huerto de Elche Nursery (part 2)

On botanical Photography and  millennial olive trees, about flora, gardens, landscapes and botanical culture. Huerto de Elche Collection

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Millennial Olive Trees Collection at Huerto de Elche Nursery (part 1)

Millennial Olive Trees Collection at Huerto de Elche Nursery (part 1)

On botanical Photography and  millennial olive trees, about flora, gardens, landscapes and botanical culture. Huerto de Elche Collection

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Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM 4

Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM 4

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19. In this same edition of the Biblia Pauperum

the palm is also, strangely enough, placed in

the hand of Christ in the Ecce Homo; the reed

in His right hand set there in mockery, changed

to the victor’s palm.

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20. Occasionally the palm is given to the angel

Gabriel when he comes from Heaven to announce

the Saviour’s approaching birth. “Ave” is

his salutation to the Virgin, and in Roman

fashion, as in salutation to a queen, he kneels

with a lifted palm.

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21. Spinello Aretino paints Gabriel with the

palm. In his Annunciation at Arezzo ‘ the

angel is first seen above, flying with the palm

from before God’s throne. Below he kneels,

the palm in his hand, before the Virgin. Ambrogio

Lorenzetti and others follow the same

tradition, but the palm was soon superseded

in Siena by the olive and elsewhere by the lily,

which was adopted by painters of all nations as

the flower of the Annunciation.

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22. The Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Voragine

gives an account of the death and burial of the

Virgin. The legend is said to be an invention

of the Gnostics, and there is reason to believe

of Lencius in the second century.

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23. Shortly before the Virgin’s death the angel

Gabriel again appeared to her, and he gave

her a branch of palm from Paradise which he

commanded should be borne before her bier.

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24. This branch of palm was clearly the symbol

of victory over sin, since she had passed a full

lifetime in perfect sinlessness and her surpassing

sorrows had entitled her to the reward of

martyrdom.

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25. The Legend continues: “And the palm shone which he had left

behind with great clearness; it was green like

a natural branch and its leaves shimmered like

the morning star”. The palm, therefore, is

distinguished from the palms of the martyrs

by being encircled with stars. A Sienese artist

paints seven, the sacred number, corresponding

with the Virgin’s sorrows; other artists

give twelve, foreshadowing that there should be

upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

26. Usually, in Italian pictures of the death or

Dormition of the Virgin, an angel, or Saint John

the Evangelist, appears at her bedside carrying

the palm. Northern art was almost entirely

uninfluenced by the details given by Jacobus

de Voragine of the Virgin’s death and burial,

and though in Germany The Death of the

Virgin is a very favourite subject, the palm is

never introduced. Saint John frequently, however,

holds a lighted taper, and some form of

the starry palm tradition may have drifted

northwards, for the master of the Sterzing Altar

paints a cluster of star-shaped flowers in the

hand of Saint John, who bends over the inanimate

form of the Virgin.

27. Her body was carried by divine command

to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and John bare

the palm branch in front of it.

28. This scene, too, belongs to Italian art, and

usually makes a beautiful processional group.

Saint John, with the privilege of a son, walks

before the bier. Duccio di Buoninsegna paints

him with the closed narrow palm of a martyr.

In the charming little long-shaped picture by

Fra Angelico the palm has its fan-shaped

leaves spread wide and it shines as if it were of

gold.

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29. In the Immaculate Conception

of the Spanish school one of the attendant putti usually

carries a palm. This may be the palm of victory

over sin and death, or, following another

authority, it may be a symbol of the Immaculate

Conception, since it bears fruit at the same

moment at which it flowers.

30. According to Dr Anselm Salzer, O.S.B.,

The palm, when referring to Mary, is a figure

of her victory over the world and its temptations,

of her everlasting virtue, of her sovereignty

in heaven, of the protection that she offers to

mankind, of her triumphant motherhood and

of the beauty of her soul.

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Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM 3

Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM 3

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13. In a hymn of Saint Augustine, Jesus Christ

is designated the * Palma bellatorum,’ but,

perhaps by reason of its pagan origin, and also

because it has never been exclusively a religious

symbol, Christ as the conqueror of sin and death

is seldom depicted with the palm of victory.

In a few devotional Crucifixions palms are

placed crossways above the Saviour’s head, and

very rarely it is seen in the hand of the newlyrisen

Christ. He almost invariably carries instead

the banner of the Resurrection with a

scarlet cross upon a white ground. In one of

the rare representations where He holds a

palm He holds also the banner in His other

hand, and it is striking how the adding of the

lesser symbol to the greater, an error the early

masters carefully avoided, detracts from the

dignity of the figure.

14. In the four canonical gospels, palms as a symbol are only

mentioned once, the occasion being the entry of Jesus Christ

riding lowly upon an ass into Jerusalem before the feast of the Passover.

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15. ” They . . . took branches of palm trees and

went forth to meet Him, and cried Hosanna ! “

16. It was a respect paid to a reigning sovereign

and would support the accusation of the Jews

that He sought to make Himself a king.

17. The entry into Jerusalem is not an incident

in the life of Christ which is used for devotional

contemplation, though it occurred usually in

the series of scenes from the life of Christ which

were frequent in pre-Renaissance art, executed

in carved wood, ivory and marble; and in the

hands of the villagers of the Mount of Olives the

palms signified, of course, simply triumph, for

they had not yet gained the full Christian meaning

of victory through the Cross.

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18. In representations of the entry of Christ into

Jerusalem, the palms are merely a historical

detail, but it is a true symbol, in defiance of

the probable fact, when the Saviour Himself

is represented carrying the palm, as in the

Biblia Pauperum of 1440.’ It is then purely

a symbol of His triumph over sin and death.

(end of part 3)

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Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM 2

Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM 2

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7. It was probably this secular use of the palm

which excluded it from the symbolism of the

Church during the early centuries, for it is palm

trees not palm branches which are found in

the early mosaics, notably those of S. Apollinare

Nuova in Ravenna, where palm trees alternate

with the figures round the frieze, and palm trees,

according to St Ambrose, were not the symbol

of victory but the emblem of the righteous

man, ‘ for its roots are upon the earth but its

head is lifted towards the heavens.

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8. But by the thirteenth century the public

games had dropped from Italian social life, and

religious art reverted once more to the palm

branch of the catacombs as the symbol of

a martyr’s triumph over death. Durandus,

writing about the year 1286, unites the different

renderings of the palm’s significance. He says:

“Martyrs are painted with the instruments

of their torture and sometimes with palms,

which signify victory, according to that saying:

The righteous shall flourish like a palm

tree; as a palm tree flourishes, so his memory

shall be preserved.”

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9. After the Renaissance martyrs were very

generally depicted with palms, either in place

of, or in addition to, the instruments of their

martyrdom. They varied in size and shape,

from the tiny closed palm no longer than a

human hand, used by Cimabue, to the magnificent

pedestal of palm branches on which Carpaccio

has set his Saint Ursula in Glory.

Saint Christopher, the giant saint, in consideration

of his size, was always allowed a whole

palm tree as his staff, but a whole palm tree, or

the tiniest scrap of its foliage, carried exactly

the same meaning.

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10. The palm is also given occasionally to several

saints who have not suffered a violent death,

but have been conspicuous for their victory

over pain and temptation; for instance. Saint

Francis, Saint Catharine of Siena and Saint

Clare.

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11. Even in the Catacombs two palms are sometimes

placed crossways, not on the tombs of

martyrs only, but on other Christian tombs,

to signify the victory of the cross. For life as

a declared Christian in the early days of the

faith was sufficiently difficult and perilous, even

if it did not end in death at the hands of the

executioner. In the same way the pilgrim

who had overcome difficulties and encountered

possible death on a journey of piety to the holy

sepulchre was permitted to take the name of

palmer when he brings home his staff enwreathed

with palm.

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12. Meanwhile palms never fell into disuse as a

secular symbol. When they appear on the seals

and coins of emperors and kings they indicate

entirely worldly power and authority, and it is

not in recognition of sainthood that the winged

genius presents Henri IV with palm and wreath

of laurel in the fine allegorical picture of

his “Entry into Paris after the Battle of Ivry”.

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(End of part 2)

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