Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


The Flora Influence

[Book image via Barnes and Noble]

It's too bad I'm not in school re-experiencing Intro to the Italian Renaissance. I have just the topic for a research paper. Admittedly my idea isn't very original but in light of recent trends (recent meaning the past several years), this subject is hard to resist: Flora, as interpreted by Botticelli in La Primavera, circa 1477 to1482, and her centuries-lasting impact on fashion and pop culture.

[Screengrabs two through four are from the documentary Botticelli: A New Springtime]

Historians say that ever since Botticelli's work was rediscovered so to speak in the 19th century, his Flora has been a popular muse. For example, a Google search revealed this late 1960s magazine cover on which she is meant to suggest a contemporary flower child. Fast forward a few decades and she reappears in the 1990s via long floral-print skirts, Anthro, and Phoebe Buffay.

Now her spirit can be felt in every online flower crown or wreath tutorial.

But if you're mostly interested in the actual botanical specimens used by the Florentine artist throughout the painting, I stumbled upon an intriguing title, Botticelli's Primavera: A Botanical Interpretation..., originally published in the 80s and apparently currently out of print. (By the way, once a week I'll be Instagramming new-to-me book and textile finds like this, intermingling them with my own mundane fare, since these days I always seem to be short on time for decent blog posts.)

More glimpses of the Renaissance master's wildflowers -- growing in the grass and across Flora's dress -- can be seen in this video about the restoration of La Primavera

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