Document Actions

Kathryn Havelock

Flora in Florence: Investigating the symbolic language of flowers in the art of Florence, c. 1450-1550.

My research project examines the use and constructions of meaning surrounding botanical elements such as trees, plants, flowers and fruits in Florentine Renaissance painting, in order to determine how and why flora could have been used to symbolically endow and reinforce values and layers of meanings to viewers of Florentine art. Essentially examining the place of plants and flowers in Florentine Renaissance art, this study would hope to establish a unique relationship between the paintings and the location that generated them, exemplified in a complex visual language of botanical symbolism. Often overlooked by art historians as assumed background setting or decorative device, my study explores the notion that flora could conceivably be and were consciously employed in paintings by artists in order to provoke associations in the mind of the contemporary viewer.

Supervisors: Dr. Dorigen Caldwell and Professor John Henderson (Department of History)

Image: La Primavera by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1477-1482. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.