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This is a book about flowers and about painters. The author has chosen forty of her favourite flower paintings and as she is both expert gardener and art historian, she has all manner of fascinating things to say about the flowers, the artists and the contexts of the paintings. Manet's mysterious Still Life with Rose and Brioche records the arrival of the new hybrid tea rose in all its perfection.
Vanessa Bell's Red Hot Pokers and Artichoke came in the wake of Roger Fry's Post-Impressionist exhibitions in London and at a time when Bell had found refuge and creative energy with Duncan Grant at Charleston. The paintings are not always the most obvious - Van Gogh is here represented by a ravishing branch of almond blossom.
But Monet has his waterlilies and Rennie Mackintosh his delicate fritillaries and there is a feast of glorious Dutch bouquets. There is old and new, known and unknown in this wonderful collection. Each painting has been chosen both to delight the eye and to offer a source of lively stories and intriguing facts.
Celia Fisher is both an art historian and a plantswoman. At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, she researched the uses of plants worldwide before going on to study at the Courtauld Institute. There she specialised in the history of plants in art. She now lives in Kew, lectures and identifies flowers in artworks for galleries and art historians.
Her articles have appeared in art and gardening journals, including Apollo, Country Life and Hortus and she has written Flowers in the National Gallery for London's National Gallery and Medieval Flowers for the British Library. Her main relaxation is gardening and her town garden has been open under the National Gardens Scheme. Her other title for Frances Lincoln is Flowers of the Renaissance.