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Masterpiece Mondays: Edwin Long, “The Daughters of Our Empire. England: The Primrose”




The "Language of Flowers" is a tradition that assigns specific meanings or sentiments to various types of flowers. It began in the ancient Middle East and China and was introduced to Europe during the 18th century. The language of flowers became increasingly renowned during the Victorian era, particularly during the artistic renaissance. The language's growing popularity can be explained by  the heightened interest in philosophical thinking. Usually, these flower meanings were used to portray themes in paintings and poems.

In this week's painting by Edwin Long, an English painter, we analyze The Daughters of Our Empire. England: The Primrose. Painted in 1887, it seems we are presented with a prelude to the tale of little red riding hood; a short-haired young lady is left alone to collect flowers in a dark, gloomy forest. Every aspect of her presence suggests her innocent youth, from her tacit gesture to her girlishly pink dress, to her dark, short trimmed hair, a fashionable style among young ladies of the time.

The focal point in this piece is the bundle of yellow primrose flowers she has gathered in her skirt. The yellow primrose symbolizes youth or young love, lilac-tinted primroses signify confidence and red primroses symbolize unappreciated merit. The artist is careful with his use of the yellow primrose, fitting its context within the painting's subject.

The Daughters of Our Empire is a glorified title, and the painting was made at a time when every hint of color was meant to capture a specific meaning. Edwin Long has managed to set an alluring theme across the canvas. It is with such great care that florists also design their masterpieces. Every color and every flower is carefully arranged, allowing for the sentiment of the design to come across naturally and effectively.

Have a unique floral arrangement designed by one of our master florists today! The design team is trained to custom tailor your bouquet based on the message you are trying to send. Having trouble finding a floral meaning that suits your occasion? Click this link to learn more about Victorian flower meanings or call the experts at  877.248.9518.

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