Saturday 6 August 2011


This painting is posted in homour of my mum. During a quiet moment at a family funeral this week, I remembered all the things I love about her and the importance of kin. I miss her often.

Chrysanthemums :: Cheerfulness, optimism, rest, truth, long life, joy.

Horace G. Hewes, Chrysanthemums  1880, oil on wood panel

Chrysanthemum are considered to be a noble flower in Asian culture, with a history that dates back to 15th century B.C. Chrysanthemum mythology is filled with a multitude of stories and symbolism.  The chrysanthemum signifies a life of ease. Symbolic of powerful Yang energy, this flower is an attractant of good luck in the home. Named from the Greek prefix “chrys“ meaning golden (its original color) and “anthemion,” meaning flower.

Daisy-like with a typically yellow center and a decorative pompon, chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy. They’re the November birth flower, the 13th wedding anniversary flower.  A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum’s petals to represent perfection, and Confucius once suggested they be used as an object of meditation.  It’s said that a single petal of this celebrated flower placed at the bottom of a wine glass will encourage a long and healthy life.

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb. Tao Yanming was the first historical breeder in 400 A.D. After his death, his native city was named ~Juxian~ meaning ~City of Chrysanthemums. It is believed that the flower may have been brought to Japan in the 8th century AD, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal and sat on the Chrysanthemum throne.  There is a “Festival of Happiness” in Japan that celebrates the flower. The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century.

{Image Horace G. Hewes via Debutantes Ball}


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