Délice Florissant(jsk)-Art Cloumn-

Speckled tulips are flowers afflicted by the "mosaic virus"

 The beloved flower of Lolitas, the tulip, originated in the shrub-covered hills of the Pamir Plateau. This area is considered one of the most extreme climates on Earth. Turkish travelers who visited this region brought back tulip bulbs, and by the 10th to 11th centuries, they were planted in gardens for ornamental purposes. By the 15th century, tulips were revered as the "flower of God" in the Islamic world, including Turkey. In Turkish, tulips are called "lale," and in Arabic, the spelling is the same as "Allah."
 The speckled tulips we occasionally see are actually diseased flowers caused by a virus. In the 17th century, when the speckled "Semper Augustus" tulip was accidentally created, it caused a sensation with its beauty, leading to a tulip breeding and selling frenzy known as Tulip Fever and the Tulip Bubble in the Netherlands.  

Left:"Still Life with Flowers" by Hans Bollongier / 1639
Right:"Semper Augustus" Watercolor Painting / 1640

Voluptuous and Realistic Depictions of Goddesses Since the Renaissance

 In Europe, it was during the Renaissance that men and women with voluptuous bodies began to be openly depicted. Prior to this period, during the dominance of Christianity, depicting nudity was "unthinkable." With the end of this era, artists, following their patrons' requests, boldly painted naked women with themes from ancient Roman and Greek mythology. Both patrons and artists likely felt a strong sense of "Long live the Renaissance!"
The woman depicted on the Juliette et Justine dress cannot be precisely identified, but as she holds a ribbon with Latin inscriptions, she might be an ancient Roman goddess painted during or after the Renaissance. She presents us with her voluptuous backside, symbolizing "abundance," which seems to bring happiness not only to men but to all viewers, including women.

"Venus and Adonis" by Annibale Carracci / circa 1595 / Kunsthistorisches Museum Collection  

Goddess in a Two-Tone Dress

Women Could Only Paint "Flowers" and "Insects"

 In Europe, it wasn't until around the 18th century that women could become prominent as painters. Before that, religious paintings, historical paintings, and mythological themes were exclusively the work of men, including nude goddesses! Women were first permitted to paint still lifes, such as flowers and fruits, which were considered lower in status. Similarly, while only men were allowed to work with oil paintings and prints, women managed to enter the field through watercolors, which were also considered lower in status.
One of the early notable female painters was Anna Merian (1647-1717). She painted plants and insects in watercolor and sold them as pattern books for embroiderers and painters. Her keen observational skills also earned her high praise as a scientist, and in recognition of her achievements, her face has been featured on modern German banknotes and stamps.
 The flowers depicted all over this Juliette et Justine dress were painted by the German female artist Barbara Regina (1706-83). Being from a later period than Anna, by the 18th century, when Barbara was active, multiple female artists had emerged who painted in oils.

Left:"Parrot Tulip, Auricula, Red Currant Flowers with Gooseberry Moth Adult, Larvae, and Pupae" by Maria Regina Dietzsch
Right:"Insects and Thistle" by Barbara Regina Dietzsch / 18th century / NY Allard Gallery Collection

 Written by Mariko Suzuki
(Published the book "Gothic & Lolita Language Dictionary" in 2024)


⚫︎ "Tulipomania: The Story of the Flower That Made Men Mad" by Mike Dash, translated by Akashi Mitsuyo / Bungeishunju Ltd. / 2000
⚫︎"How to Look at Art as Taught by the Masters" by Visual Design Institute / Visual Design Institute Publishing