Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Flowers everywhere - look, Maria Sibylla Merian!
May does not need me - May just is.
If you wonder what I'm talking about: each day I stop for a few minutes at my neighbour's garden - enjoying the results of her toil for free - though I pay abundantly with praise. (Once I thought that I had invented a new profession: The True Praiser. (Lauder) People, I thought, might book me and hear what they are so thirsty for: real, genuine (!) praise of things they have accomplished - things everybody takes for granted, or, worse, does not even notice). Maybe I should create a Start Up? Anyone interested out there?
No - May does not need any praise - it is overwhelming HERE with its abundance of roses, iris, elder.
Bathes us in huge clouds of perfume, showers us with sun shine, dries us with hot air - and the song of the birds come for free. Such a bliss - and life is beautiful!
As you know I have a deep interest in flowers and plants - as a gardener, botanist and ardent admirer. I take photographs of flowers - which sometimes I like quite well - and sometimes I also paint some, though here you can foolishly hear me mumble: "Not real Art. Nice, yes, but.. artisan craftwork at it's best."
Views not shared completely by Albrecht Dürer, who retorts: "For truly, art is rooted in nature, and whoever can draw it out, has it".
Yet often flowers were used by artists as background painting (I "collect" them with my camera - only the flower, not the whole painting).
At the moment a beautiful exhibition on "MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN and the Tradition of Flower Painting" is shown at the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
Maria Sibylla Merian was an highly gifted painter of flowers - and a very remarkable woman.
She died 300 years ago. (!!)
The exhibition starts with a broad overview of floral book illustrations of the 15th century, nature studies from Dürer's time and apothecary books from early 16th century, and wonderful portrayals of flowers by the famous Georg Flegel.
As Sibylla, they all painted insects too - but as the first mosquitos and wasps have already arrived, I am not keen on them.
Yes: flower painting is beautiful, and sometimes Art. And often surprising too: you might have seen Rachel's phantastic little drawings of flowers - especially the poppies got me, done in nail varnish, and I look musingly at "Chili Bean", my voluptious dark red nail varnish - which I seldom use, because Life is too Short to spend time on repairing flaking nail varnish in my active life. There might be a better way to use it?
Anyway: I bought a season ticket for our Botanical Garden.
Nice to meet you - hope you guess my name! (I'm just sitting on a fence!)