Small lemon shaped vase with lemon glaze imitating lemon skin,
Japan, Meiji era, 1868 – 1912
Collection of Dr. Otto Fettick, Ferenc Hopp Museum of Asiatic Arts, Budapest
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.
“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
The boat ride from Sorrento, Charles Demuth, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Demuth_Charles_The_Boat_Ride_from_Sorrento.jpg
While Europe is still in the middle of winter, good news come from the South. Mediterranean flora has just started celebrating spring.Rosemary among the first ones. Are you ready for a recipe ? As saying goes “New year-new beginning”, why not try something else as a rosemary chicken? I’ve picked two great ones-the first for those with troubles, after trying this balm, you will realize your problems may not be as big as they seem. The second one is for perfume lovers, who seek something more, in this case it is a remedy and a perfume at once!
The balm of Fierabras
According to a chanson from 1170, Fierabras and Balan conquered Rome and stole two barrels containing the balm used for the corpse of Jesus. This miraculous balm would heal whoever drank it.In Chapter X of the first volume of Miguel de Cervantes‘ Don Quixote de la Mancha, after one of his numerous beatings, Don Quixotementions to Sancho Panza that he knows the recipe of the balm. In Chapter XVII, Don Quixote instructs Sancho that the ingredients are oil, wine, salt and rosemary. The knight boils them and blesses them with eighty Pater Nosters, and as many Ave Marias, Salves andCredos. Upon drinking it, Don Quixote vomits and sweats and feels healed after sleeping. However, for Sancho it has also a laxativeeffect, rendering him near death.from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fierabras
Hungary water (sometimes called “the Queen of Hungary’s Water”) was the first (European) alcohol-based perfume, claimed to date to about the late 14th century. According to legend it was first formulated at the command of a Queen of Hungary, sometimes identified as Isabella but usually as Elisabeth, or in one document “Saint Elisabeth, Queen of Hungary”. According to these same legends Hungary water first appeared outside of Hungary in 1370 when the French Charles V le Sage, who was famous for his love of fragrances, received some.Hungary water was known across Europe for many centuries, and until eau de Cologne appeared in the 18th century, it was the most popular fragrance and remedy applied. Similar to other herb and flower-based products, Hungary water was not merely (or even mainly) a fragrance, but also a valuable remedy; the early recipes advise the user to both wash with it and drink it in order to receive the most benefit.The oldest surviving recipes call for distilling fresh rosemary (and possibly thyme) with strong brandy, while later formulations contain lavender, mint, sage, marjoram, costus, orange blossom and lemon.from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungary_Water
Medici from Florenz were a powerful family. Their wealth (they owned Medici bank, one of biggest and most truthful banks in Europe at that time), connections (family gave 4 popes,their daughters married to European courts) and fact that they themselves become royal house enabled them to politically dominate the region from late 14-th century up to the 18-th century.They were generous patrons to the artists of the time and spent huge amounts of money building palaces, fortresses, gardens.
It is obvious that it was in the spirit of renaissance to invest in lavish buildings with picturesque gardens around, to study humanities and collect art. But what was the reason , that on December 1, 1545, Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany established botanical garden in Florenz -, “Giardino dei Semplici“ (medicinal herb garden), just after Pisa and Padova had got their botanical gardens? What made him think this is important, as there were yet only two botanical gardens in the world? After all, he could build just one more palazzo with beautiful garden.
I guess the reason lies in his grandmother Caterina Sforza, for he inherited passion for alchemy from her. She dedicated her last years of life to her children, grandchildren and her alchemical experiments.She had curiosity (or need?) to experiment in alchemy, this were in a way natural sciences. From here is just a step towards wish to investigate natural phenomena, botany included.
As enough passion to investigate nature and enough knowledge to distinct observations of nature as something important were needed (among with enough money) to set a botanical garden in 14-th century-do we today have enough passion, knowledge and money to recognize botanical gardens as important humanistic legacy for future generations?
Just a bouquet of pink tulips for all my WP friends, Wish you all a great week !!!!