The Language of Flowers is a public art project by the artist Jacqueline de Montaigne, curated and produced by Because Art Matters. The project comprises of a 14m high public mural in Largo Hintze Ribeiro Lisbon and parallel solo show right next to, celebrating the Victorian practise of Floriography whilst focusing on specific flowers that were used to share one common message, love!
April 7 – 17th, 2022
Largo Hintze Ribeiro nº2b, Lisbon
Vídeo: The End Films
Photo: António Azevedo / Bruno Cunha
The language of flowers – Floriography, is an age old form of cryptology that uses flowers as a way to communicate messages that would otherwise be restricted or difficult to speak aloud. Floriography has been recorded throughout history, being at it’s most popular in Victorian England (1837-1901) where blooms, plants, and specific floral arrangements were used to send coded messages that Victorian etiquette deemed unacceptable to share openly. Armed with floral dictionaries, Victorians often exchanged small “talking bouquets”, which could be worn or carried as a fashion accessory but more importantly, to make a statement. Nearly every flower has multiple associations which are listed in the hundreds of floral dictionaries written since the early 1800’s with details on ways to decipher the color, quantity and arrangement of flowers – but a consensus of meaning for most flowers has emerged which often comes from the appearance or behavior of the plant itself. Floriography is still used in modern society where specific flowers are chosen and given to portray feelings and symbolise a status or event.
Camellia – longing for you
Dahlia – commitment
Forget-me-not – forget me not
Honey suckle – devotion
Ivy – fidelity and attachment
Orchid – eternal love and commitment
Orange blossom – eternal love
Pansy – you occupy my thoughts
Rose – love
Tulip – I declare my love to you