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L’Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal

Flowers Gardens Photography

Tout homme digne de ce nom

A dans le coeur un Serpent jaune,

Installé comme sur un trône,

Qui, s’il dit: «Je veux,» répond: «Non!»

L'Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal 1

L’Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal 1

L'Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal 2

L’Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal 2

L'Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal 3

L’Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal 3

L'Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal 4

L’Avertisseur: Fleurs du mal 4

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Symmetry II

Symmetry II

(Wikipedia Source)

The “precise” notions of symmetry have various measures and operational definitions. For example, symmetry may be observed:

  • with respect to the passage of time;
  • as a spatial relationship;
  • through geometric transformations such as scaling, reflection, and rotation;
  • through other kinds of functional transformations; and
  • as an aspect of abstract objects, theoretic models, language, music and even knowledge itself.

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Symmetry I

Symmetry I

(Wikipedia source) Symmetry (from the Greek: “συμμετρεῖν” = to measure together), generally conveys two primary meanings. The first is an imprecise sense of harmonious or aesthetically pleasing proportionality and balance; such that it reflects beauty or perfection. The second meaning is a precise and well-defined concept of balance or “patterned self-similarity” that can be demonstrated or proved according to the rules of a formal system: by geometry, through physics or otherwise.

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Mediterranean Botanical Civilizations

Mediterranean Botanical Civilizations

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Ficus Elastica: Botanical Photography

Ficus Elastica: Botanical Photography

Source: Ficus Elastica, wikipedia text

Ficus elastica, also called the rubber figrubber bushrubber plant, or Indian rubber bush is a species of plant in the fig genus, native to northeast India and southern Indonesia.

Author Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen 1887

It is a fat bush in the banyan group of figs, growing to 30–40 metres (98–130 ft) (rarely up to 60 metres / 200 feet) tall, with a stout trunk up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) diameter. The trunk develops aerial and buttressing roots to anchor it in the soil and help support heavy branches. It has broad shiny oval leaves 10–35 centimetres (3.9–14 in) long and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) broad; leaf size is largest on young plants (occasionally to 45 centimetres / 18 inches long), much smaller on old trees (typically 10 centimetres / 3.9 inches long). The leaves develop inside a sheath at the apical meristem, which grows larger as the new leaf develops. When it is mature, it unfurls and the sheath drops off the plant. Inside the new leaf, another immature leaf is waiting to develop.

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As with other members of the genus Ficus, the flowers require a particular species of fig wasp to pollinate it in a co-evolved relationship. Because of this relationship, the rubber plant does not produce highly colourful or fragrant flowers to attract other pollinators. The fruit is a small yellow-green oval fig 1 centimetre (0.39 in) long, barely edible; it will only contain viable seed where the relevant fig wasp species is present.

In parts of India, people guide the roots of the tree over chasms to eventually form living bridges[

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CULTIVATION AND USES

Ficus elastica is grown around the world as an ornamental plant, outside in frost-free climates from the tropical to the Mediterranean and inside in colder climates as a houseplant. Although it is grown in Hawaiʻi, the species of fig wasp required to allow it to spread naturally is not present there.

In cultivation, it prefers bright sunlight but not hot temperatures. It has a high tolerance for drought, but prefers humidity and thrives in wet, tropical conditions. When grown as an ornamental plant hybrids derived from Ficus elastica Robusta with broader, stiffer and more upright leaves are commonly used instead of the wild form. Many such forms exist, often with variegated leaves.

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Most cultivated plants are produced by asexual propagation. This can be done by planting cuttings or air layering. The latter method requires the propagator to cut a slit in the plant’s stem. The wound, which oozes with the plant’s latex sap, is packed with rooting hormoneand wrapped tightly with moist sphagnum moss. The whole structure is wrapped in plastic and left for a few months. When it is unwrapped, new roots have developed from the plant’s auxiliary buds. The stem is severed and the new plant is potted on its own.

It can yield a milky white latex also known as sap, which has been used in some cases to make rubber, but it should not be confused with the Pará rubber tree, the main commercial source of latex for rubber making. This sap is also an irritant to the eyes and skin and can be fatal if taken internally.

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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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Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM 1

Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM

On the mountains is freedom¡ the breath of decay

Never sullies the fresh flowing air;

Oh¡ nature is perfect wherever we stray;

‘Tis man that deforms it with care.

“From Schiller´s Bride of Messina, as translated by A. Lodge”

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House of Life was the name of an epic symbolic cycle by George Frederic Watts, an English Victorian painter associated with the Symbolist movement:

In this art, scenes from nature, human activities, and all other real world phenomena will not be described for their own sake; here, they are perceptible surfaces created to represent their esoteric affinities with the primordial Ideals.

“(Original text in french: Ainsi, dans cet art, les tableaux de la nature, les actions des humains, tous les phénomènes concrets ne sauraient se manifester eux-mêmes ; ce sont là des apparences sensibles destinées à représenter leurs affinités ésotériques avec des Idées primordiales).”

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In the following post titled Botanical and Horticulture Photography: PALM SYMBOLISM 1 I will use the book The Floral Symbolism of the Great Masters by Elizabeth Haig, 1913, to recreate, through her chapter about Palms, a Photo Documentary about palm trees.

Botanical and Horticulture Photography PALM SYMBOLISM

THE PALM

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1. The Romans took palms for their symbol of

Victory. There is a sarcophagus in the Vatican

on which is carved a Roman conqueror with

captive barbarians kneeling before him, and the

winged Victory who crowns him with laurel

holds a palm in her left hand.

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2. Simon Maccabees, after he had taken the

Tower of Jerusalem, entered it

” with thanksgiving,

and branches of palm trees and with

harps”. And the seers of Scripture saw palms

in heaven:

” A great multitude, which no man

could number, of all nations, and kindreds and

people, and tongues, stood before the throne

and before the Lamb clothed with white robes,

and palms in their hands”.  “These be they

that have put off the mortal clothing and put

on the immortal, and have confessed the name

of God; now are they crowned and receive

palms”.

Palms were therefore the meed of martyrdom,

the symbol of the martyrs’ victory over death.

“. . . The angel said

God liketh thy request,

And bothe with the palme of martirdome.

Ye shallen come unto His blissful rest”.

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3. During the first three centuries of Christianity

Christian art concerned itself almost

exclusively with the events recounted in the

Old and New Testaments and the Apocryphal

Gospels. “But during the fourth century artists

began to represent the acts of the martyrs, at

the bidding of Saint Basil, who called to his aid

illustrious painters of athletic combats, to paint

with resplendent colours the martyr Barlaam,

the crowned athlete, whom he found himself

unable adequately to describe. … A fresco

came to light in 1887, under the Church of SS.

Giovanni e Paolo on the Celian Hill, which shows

three Christians being put to death beneath

the rule of Julian the Apostate, kneeling with

eyes bound and hands tied behind their backs.

This may be considered as the first representation

of a martyrdom. . .”

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4. Sixtus III (432-440), as is shown by the inscription

which is read above the principal door

of Santa Maria Maggiore, had had the instruments

of their martyrdom painted only beneath

the feet of the martyrs.

Ecce tui testes uteri sibi proemia portant

Sub pedibusque jacet passio cuique sua.

Ferrum, flamma, ferae, fluvius, saevumque venerium

Tot tamen has mortes una corona manet.

(Translation: Behold, thy witness which carry the rewards for himself

And beneath his feet lies the passion of each man ‘.

Iron, a flame, fierce, and the river, and the savage and a Venus

With all those deaths, however, one of the crown of these remains).

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5. Thus in the fourth century there were representations

of martyrdoms, and in the fifth century

single figures of the martyrs more or less idealized,

but they apparently carried the crown of victory,

‘ the crown of their high calling,’ not the palm.

But though the crown was generally used, the

palm of the primitive Christian Church was not

forgotten, for, as Cassiodorus, writing at the

beginning of the sixth century, points out, it

was palms which, in the eyes of the people,

indicated those strong athletes who were vic-

torious, and advocates their use as a religious

symbol.

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6. Palms at this period seem to have been used

as an emblem of the public games themselves.

On the consular diptyches, the double tablets

of ivory which a consul had carved to commemorate

his entry into office, it was customary

to put palms beneath the figure of the consul,

among the bags of money and other objects that

were supposed to represent the benefits which

would accrue to the populace beneath his rule.

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(end of part 1)

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Botanical And Horticulture Photography at Huerto de Elche

Botanical And Horticulture Photography at Huerto de Elche

A day at Huerto de Elche Nurseris is a day in heaven. Nature reciprocity with man, a momentary lapse of reason heralding why we are here and what nature means to us. At Huerto del Elche Nurseries time means nothing and nature means all.

Beauty is their motto, a motivation an intention to bring harmony, aesthetics and pleasures to horticulture. The Sense of Nature.

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The Company, Huerto de Elche Nurseries, is a family business that goes as back as 1971 where their main vocation was landscaping. After 30 years of intensive an exquisite work the company the  company is now formed by a team of young professionals who have inherited the founder´s passion for nature, design and the perfection of a job well done.

Their passion is beauty and the beneficiaries of their beauty are all the clients and customers around the world who benefit from Huerto de Elche aesthetically values and horticultural know how.

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Nowadays a technically trained generation is boosting the company towards the nursery production of palm trees as its star crop.

In the following post I will dedicate an exclusive theme to their 500 years old olive trees collection: a marvel of nature.

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