14 January 2012

Red January: Garnets and Carnations


The icy month of January is warmed by its red birthstone the garnet and its corresponding birth flower the carnation. The name garnet may have derived from the jeweled fruit the pomegranate. A garnet body centers the mid-seventeenth century Polish eagle that was commissioned by Władysław IV Vasa for his wife Cecilia Renata of Austria. In a detail from the painting of a Madonna and Child by Flemish painter Joos Van Cleve (1485-1540), a single carnation is surmounted by a passion flower. The passion flower was not discovered by Europeans until 1610; the new world flower was added to the old world one by a later artist. Italian artist Antonio del Pollaiolo (1429-1498) depicts a reflective young woman gazing into the future wearing a red dress with a pomegranate motif.

7 comments:

  1. I immediately had a sense of familiarity when I saw that eagle brooch, which was confirmed when I read the description. Beautiful!

    Cheers,

    Claudia

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  2. These are all beautiful images, but the first one is a very pretty surprise. Even with its thorny crown, it remains so delicate.

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  3. The passion flower topped with a micro crown of the Lord's suffering is an incredibly inventive touch. I was thinking of ordering a vine of passiflora for the garden, you have now convinced me. Pardon my not checking in sooner, life has been a bit mad.
    LG

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  4. Claudia, The Eagle is such a compelling piece and somehow I missed it when I visited the Louvre. Too much to see! Best, Kendra

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  5. gésbi and Len, it is always such a delight to hear from the two of you. We should all meet in Paris sometime. Kendra

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  6. Pretty, pretty, pretty. And almost the color of the year. My blog background has always been red. It's a little disconcerting to find that I am suddenly trendy. :)

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  7. Thank you Dandy, I thought the color of the year was tangerine according to Pantone. I would much prefer a shade of red. I love your background color but I am something of a magpie. Best, Kendra

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