With the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in full bloom, it seems only right to have a bit of a floral festival here at the Library.
This truly global survey follows both explorers and artists over the centuries to unveil some of the greatest glories of botanical art. Sumptuously produced, the imagery and text tells the story of the opening up of new lands, the discovery of new flora, and the botanists and artists who created masterpieces through their documentation of it.
This lovely catalogue from the Art Gallery of Ballarat is wholly concerned with the history of botanical illustration in Australia over 3oo years, from the early encounters of the first European settlers to its central place in the imagery of Australia throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, particularly as ideas of Australian nationhood took hold.
Through a range of decorative objects, paintings, photographs, furniture and textiles this book explore the ways in which flowers, and particularly cut flowers, have been used throughout the ages to symbolise and suggest everything from fertility and love to sorrow and death. The language of flowers has been interpreted and reinterpreted throughout all ages and all cultures, and this well illustrated study provides an accessible starting point for those in need of a translation.
Paul Fox investigates the life and work of six colonial pioneers who had a major impact on the Australian landscape in the 19th century, the ramifications of which are still being felt today. From men who could only envision the landscape through a European sensibility to visionaries who recognised the dangers of traditional approaches to their new, very non-traditional environment.
From those extraordinary garden frescoes in the villas of Ancient Rome through to the riotously colourful pictures of David Hockney, Nils Buttner examines not just the garden in art but why artists paint gardens and what they say about their society and times.
Now here’s a home-grown treasure. Richard Aitken explores the State Library of Victoria’s own vast and wonderful collection of material relating to gardens and gardening. Maps, plans, photos, brochures, posters, catalogues, paintings, drawings, the parade seems endless, all beautifully contextualised by Richard with some charming personal perspectives from Anne Latrelle, Paul Fox and Michael Leunig. A total delight!
Are we having fun yet? Garden frolics from our Picture Collection