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In this charming book Celia Fisher explores the beautiful flower illustration in medieval herbals and manuscripts, illustrating around 140 different flowers and plants in glorious full colour. Many of the illustrations come from herbals, in which plants began to be depicted with realism by artists in the 14th century. But in the 15th century a different kind of flower illustration emerged in the margins of illuminated manuscripts. From around 1480 flowers became the dominant feature of the decorative borders of Books of Hours created in the southern Netherlands. The wonderfully innovative style showed the flowers as if they had been plucked from their stems and scattered onto the page where they cast little trompe l'oeil shadows as if they were indeed three-dimensional. Flower lovers and those interested in medieval art and history will find this richly illustrated book informative, entertaining and, above all, a joy to behold.
Celia Fisher gained her MA and PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she studied flowers in fifteenth-century paintings and manuscripts. She lectures and writes widely on the history of plants and gardens in art. Her include Flowers and Fruit, The Golden Age of Flowers and The Magic of Birds.