History of Floral Design Modified by Georgia Agricultural Education Office June, 2002
I. History of Floral Design • A. Flower arranging is a work of art.
We follow certain guidelines • to properly arrange flowers so that they become a “work of art”. These guidelines are called principles of design.
Basic laws • fundamentals, truths or methods of operation that have been tested and proven for many centuries.
Arrangements • are judged by these principles. • Tools that will guide in planning and evaluating arrangements.
Concepts of floral design • Two concepts developed independently of each other. • Occidental Style – evolved in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Cultures • further developed by the Europeans
Oriental Style • began in China • later explored by the Japanese
Egyptian Period • 2800-28BC • arranged separate rows of different colored flowers in shallow bowls
Egyptian period • feast tables were often decorated with fruits and vegetables neatly piled in low baskets
Egyptian Period • several flowers were considered sacred, symbolizing Egyptian Gods and Goddesses • Lotus and Water Lilies were placed in elaborate vases, bowls and jars
Ancient Greeks • 600-146 BC • Did not arrange flowers in vases, scattered blossoms on tables and on the streets
Ancient Greeks • flowers were used to make garland and wreaths worn during special occasions. • Presented as awards to athletes, statesmen and soldiers.
Ancient Greeks • the cornucopia (horn or plenty) was filled with fruits and vegetables and placed in an upright position rather than on its side as done today
Romans • 28 BC - 325 AD • continued the customs of the Greeks • arrangements and usage became more elaborate
Romans • scatter roses on banquet tables and on the floor • scarves filled with blossoms were offered at an altar in Roman Religious Ceremonies
Romans • Wreaths and Garlands became more elaborate
Byzantine Period • 320-600 AD • arrangements of cut flowers used again • formal conical designs with clusters of blossoms at regular intervals
Middle Ages • 476-1600 AD • very little is known about floral designs of this time period
Renaissance • 1400-1600 AD • beautifully documented in paintings • designs were large, tall, pyramidal, and symmetrically balanced
Renaissance • flower arrangements were loose, un-crowded and airy • formal bouquets featured the most important flower situated centrally, at the top of the bouquet, with other flower heads turned outward.
Renaissance • flowers were arranged so that they were about twice the height of the container • intense colors were used to create contrast with the white plastered walls of buildings
Renaissance • several traditional floral designs of today are styled after renaissance arrangements
Baroque Period • began as symmetrical, oval shaped designs • asymmetrical curves in the shape of a crescent or an “s” were adopted later
Baroque • an abundance of flower types and colors were used together • arrangements incorporated a variety of accessories such as figurines and butterflies
Baroque • the “s” curve and crescent arrangements developed during this period are popular today
Flemish-style • 1600-1750 AD • beautifully captured by Dutch painters • traditional baroque styles were refined
Flemish style • refined - not as loose and open • better proportioned and more compact • Rich colors and an array of flowers were combined into masses, oval shape bouquets.
Flemish style • The French developed mass arrangements during the same time that were lighter and more airy than those of the Dutch. • Arrangements were made from delicate flowers in light pastel colors.
Georgian period • 1714-1760 A.D. • Time period that spanned the reigns of the English kings George I and George II • Arrangements were greatly influenced by Chinese arts.
Georgian period • Usually symmetrical and triangularly shaped. • Many featured a single flower type. • Designs moved away from formality and symmetry in the late part of the period.
Georgian period • nosegay, or handheld bouquet became stylish • small nosegay bouquets placed in bowls were the first use of table centerpieces as we know them today.
Georgian period • Georgian art influenced the decorative arts in Colonial America. • Fan shaped and triangular arrangements were made and sometimes placed the center of interest near the rim of the container.
Georgian period • boxwood, ivy, and magnolia were used with garden flowers in the summer • berries, cones, greens with fruit were used during the winter along with dried flowers.
Victorian period • 1820-1914 A.D. • Flowers were fashionable but designs were rather unappealing. • Improperly proportioned
Victorian period • large amounts of flowers cramped into a container to create a compact arrangement • usually asymmetrical with no focal point.
Victorian period • many different flower types and colors used, arrangements looked unplanned. • Rules for flower arranging were established toward the end of the Victorian period.
Oriental Style • Began in India where Buddhist priests scattered branches and stem on altar or placed them in pottery urns. • Modified by the Chinese during the first century A.D.
Oriental Style • Arranged flowers in massive bronze vessels • Felt it was improper to place flowers carelessly on the altar. • Created symbolic arrangements • Bright colors were favored.
Oriental Style • Usually large and symmetrical with one or two types of foliage and flowers placed around a central branch. • Lightest colors were used at outer portions of design, darker ones kept nearest the base.
Oriental Style • Sixth Century A.D. Japanese adopted many aspects of the Chinese culture, including floral arrangement. • Japanese priest named Ikenabo refined the art.
Oriental Style • His instruction was sought by other Buddhist priests. • Began the first school of floral art in Japan which bears his name.
Oriental Style • Name later changed to Ikebana which means “giving life to the flowers.”
Oriental Style • Many schools of Japanese flower arrangements have evolved from this original one, the basic principles can be traced back to Ikenaba.
Oriental Style • Japanese designs are characterized by minimum use of plant material and careful placement of branches and flowers. • Each placement and angle has meaning.
Oriental Style • This type of arrangement became known as “line arrangement”
European Style • generally large, round or oval mass of flowers • flower placement is not rigidly dictated as in oriental design
European Style • known as mass arrangements • most floral designs in the US are referred to as “line mass” and combine Oriental and European ideas
European Style • American floral design uses more materials than the Oriental but far fewer than the European • US floral design is often built around linear patterns, showing the Oriental influence.