Ornamental flowers from the Zucchi collection

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Browsing my pictures i found some photos of old fabric prints. These ones are very special to me, as I actually printed them myself, using original antique wooden blocs from the Zucchi collection in Milan.There was one handblock for the red and another one for the blue part of this pattern. I remember holding those pear wooden blocks  in hands and watching the ornamental flowers grow into pattern was like time machine travel. I felt like Austrian hand printer carefully composing pattern on fabric in his 19th century manufacture, taking care to capture the beauty of flowers in his ornament. And today, looking at these ornamental flowers on fabric i feel just the same, thrilled to know how much love for the detail, for the nature is engraved in this old pattern.

The Collection’s 12,000 designs bear witness, over a period which spans three centuries from 1785 to 1935, to a fashion that was both varied and popular. Such tastes were apparent in during one of the most energetic and fertile periods of European culture, which ended with the first stylistic experiments of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements.
The Zucchi Collection received First Prize, sponsored by the Guggenheim Enterprise Collection for the most outstanding cultural project developed in 1995-96 by private Italian companies. The honour was bestowed “for having saved from impending destruction a patrimony of material invaluable to Europe’s history, for having transformed the largest existing collection of silk printing blocks left in the world into a museum archive open to the public, for having conserved its own business vocation into permanent cultural wealth”. from: http://www.zucchicollection.org/pages/past_intro.php

Morning coffee landscape

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My morning coffee is the time to think about the day to come , about plans and new ideas, about things I just have to do and about the pleasant moments I wish to make today, about the sorrows and joy to come. It is the time of a day I need to be completly alone, slowly sipping my coffee to leave the dreams of the night and to enter the new day . This morning my coffee itself was like a dream,  painted landscape from the small cup embraced me suddenly,  I stepped into a tiny porcelain village, staring at the blue porcelain sea under blue porcelain sky, black dots, porcelain birds flew from somewhere. Then a breeze came, bringing fresh smell from the mountains, smell of the trees, flowers, forest. Staring to the painted landscape on my cup I noticed some trees, bushes, a garden perhaps. It felt like walking in a fairy, and I was wandering what the sorrows of the porcelain people in the morning would be. Tomorrow morning, when I come back to the porcelain land they might tell me……

Growing vegetables, playing vegetables, having fun

Today afternoon I’ve been gardening with my friends again. Remember how excited we were this spring? I am happy to announce, things are under control even in the middle of the gardening season. The recipe? I think it is in the fact, that we do not take it too seriously, I mean, we all like to come to our garden, we like to work there much better as going to fitness class, we like learning new skills and green theory, but great part of our gardening is also having a coffee together, talking new sorts to plant and good recipes to try with our harvest. Then we do battle weeds, too, but again, not too seriously, and it turns out to be a good idea-our beds are green (there are some weeds around) despite hot days, a reasonable amount of  weeds gives some shade and protection to young plants, I guess. We did some mistakes, too, but that’s learning by doing (mistakes). The biggest was we planted different sorts of zucchini and pumpkins all the place around. We simply were not able to resist to that many sorts and we were even less able to decide which would be the best. The consequence of this liberal attitude is now clear to each one passing our garden, vines of different pumpkins, growing here and there without a logical pattern seem as an alien  invasion. By now the broccoli and red beets have already lost their territories, yellow pumpkin flowers shine from all angles of our amateur gardening experiment. But then we planted many flowers, too, and when the sun shines bright  all the garden looks as a big bouquet! I wanted to make some pictures today, but it started to rain . By the next time when I make some pics to post, have,please, a look on how versatile homegrown vegetables are ! 

Lemons and art

When I remember Capri I remember lemon trees. Blue blue sky, azure sea and yellow, yellow lemons on the trees. I brought some lemons home from Capri. As they were gone I felt so sad not having any good photos of Capri lemon trees. I had  photos of Capri lemons, even of ceramic ones, but of no lemon trees.  Searching net for nice pictures of lemon trees I’ve found a picture as bright as those lemons from Capri. And I’ve discovered a great American artist,Charles Demuth. His art makes me happy, as those lemon trees from Capri did.

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Zinnias and a Blue Dish with Lemons - Charles Demuth

“Zinnias and a Blue Dish with Lemons” oil on Canvas. Charles Demuth, 1924, from:http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_239022/Charles-Demuth/page-1

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The boat ride from Sorrento, Charles Demuth, from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Demuth_Charles_The_Boat_Ride_from_Sorrento.jpg

 

 

Masquerade and Plants

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There were many beautiful illustrations in the old zoological textbook I wrote about in my last post. Today I’ve picked some illustrious examples of what is known as masquerade or mimesis. Basically, prey animals during evolution developed mechanisms, to camouflage and have higher surveillance rates. Mimetic animals look like something else, not interesting to the predator, like bark, twig, leaf or even lichen. You have the examples on the pictures above, they are actuary  full of  mother nature’s wit. But could it be presumed, that mimesis is a form of  aggressive influential behaviour? Meaning ,that flora in general, is in a way pushing other species to try to survive by being more flora like. Which in turn ends in better surveillance rates of real flora, as the, so to say, fake mimetic subjects de facto are ”incompetent plants”? Would like to hear your opinion about this science-fiction idea!

Zinnia-mal de ojos and human eye

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Fall colours bring the last sun before winter.But before forests turn their foliage to yellowish part of the spectre the last summer flowers pretend this summer will never end.Zinnias make even this little garden an oasis of summer,delivering a piece of colour memoirs to those passing by. I’ve remembered little zinnia bouquets from the food market that we loved so much, that we kept buying them until we believed they are nothing special and traded them for some fancy flowers in trend.What a pity a human eye recognizes colours  but the meanings remain unseen just too often……

Johann Gottfried Zinn was born in Schwabach. Considering his short life span, Zinn made a great contribution to the study of anatomy. In his book Descriptio anatomica oculi humani,       he provided the first detailed and comprehensive anatomy of the human eye.

In addition to his medical career, Zinn was also an ardent botanist. In 1750, the German Ambassador to Mexico sent Zinn some seeds of mal de ojos,  which was considered a weed in Mexico, but the plant briefly aroused interest in Germany. [1]

Botanist Carolus Linnaeus designated a genus of flowers in the family Asteraceaenative from Mexico as Zinnia  in his honour. Zinnia was introduced to Europe in 1613.  from  :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Gottfried_Zinn

Self Portrait Dedicated To Dr Eloesser 1940 - Frida Kahlo

from:http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_299336/Frida-Kahlo/Self-Portrait-Dedicated-To-Dr-Eloesser-1940

Woman With A Red Zinnia - Mary Cassatt

from:http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/mary-cassatt/woman-with-a-red-zinnia-1891

Zinnia
Zinnia × hybrida flower and foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Heliantheae[1]
Genus: Zinnia
L.
Type species
Zinnia peruviana (L.) L.
Synonyms
Crassina Scepin
Diplothrix DC.
Mendezia DC.
Tragoceros Kunth[2]from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinnia

Cichorium intybus blue flowers and Horace diet

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Chicory is quiet an unnoticeable plant ,surviving where streets end, sometimes even trying to invade side walks, growing in the corners of kindergarten playgrounds and behind shopping moles where city lawns meet native plants.But when it starts to flower , then it is seen  afar. Sky-blue flowers look as small oceans of blue colour , transforming weed-like into sky-like. Once far ago I wanted to have this beauty with me, at home, so I picked a big bouquet and put it in a vase . How disappointed was I ,recognizing chicory is no cut-flower plant, nice blue petals shrank and my bouquet was a sad one. Since then I admire chicory there, where I find it! 

The chicory plant is one of the earliest cited in recorded literature. Horace mentions it in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: “Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea, me malvae” (“As for me, olives, endives, and mallows provide sustenance”) from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicory

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Horatius reads before Maecenas, Fyodor Andreyevich Bronnikov (1827–1902), from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fedor_Bronnikov_014.jpg