Flower: Exploring the World in Bloom: Phaidon Editors with an introduction by Anna Pavord

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A comprehensive and sumptuous survey that celebrates the beauty and appeal of flowers throughout art, history, and culture

Take a journey across continents and cultures to discover the endless ways artists and image-makers have employed floral motifs throughout history. With 316 color illustrations showcasing the diversity of blooms from all over the world, Flower spans a wide range of styles and media – from art, botanical illustrations, and sculptures to floral arrangements, film stills, and textiles – and follows a visually stunning sequence with works, regardless of period, thoughtfully paired to allow interesting and revealing juxtapositions between them. Flower is follows in the footsteps of Plant: Exploring the Botanical World, which Martha Stewart Living described as "breathtaking."

Featuring large-scale images and accessible texts, Flower offers a comprehensive introduction to the subject and includes both much-loved works together with examples that may prove more surprising discoveries, even for specialists. Selected by an international panel of art historians, museum curators, botanists, florists, horticulturalists, and more, works by a diverse range of both lesser-known and iconic artists and image-makers are featured, including: Nobuyoshi Araki, Cecil Beaton, Georg Ehret, David Hockney, Horst P. Horst, Nick Knight, Yayoi Kusama, Leonardo da Vinci, Robert Mapplethorpe, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Cedric Morris, William Morris, Georgia O'Keeffe, Irving Penn, David Hockney, Pierre-Joseph Redouté, Rachel Ruysch, Constance Spry, and Flora Starkey.



  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 352 pp
  • Illustrations: 316 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781838660857

Conceived and edited by Phaidon editors. Phaidon Editors are grounded in both academic and professional expertise in a diverse range of subjects including art, architecture, cookery, and design. Working with a broad and diverse panel of contributors from around the world, Phaidon Editors have created many of Phaidon's classic publications, including 30,000 Years of ArtThe Fashion BookThe Gardener's Garden, and the Atlas of Brutalist Architecture.


"A substantial survey of how art and culture have interpreted the floral world."—The Financial Times, How to Spend It

"... a doorstopper, showstopper of a book that celebrates blossoms in fabric, photography, painting and ceramic." —The Wall Street Journal

"A new book from Phaidon examines [flowers'] rich symbolism, drawing on lush, visually striking images from several centuries of creative practice."—Aesthetica Magazine

"In normal times, visits to gardens, jaunts to discover those famous scenic landscapes and soaking up lush vistas are, of course, one of the highlights for travellers the world over. Flower takes its readers on a different journey — but a voyage nonetheless — across continents and cultures to discover the endless ways artists and designers throughout history, from ancient Egypt to the modern day in New York, have depicted flowers and floral motifs."—Forbes

" A sumptuous exploration of how blossoms and floral motifs have been used in various art forms throughout history."—People Magazine

"Flower explores the origins of artists' and designers' affinity with blooms across continents and cultures."—Design Week

"Like life, the flower is fragile and temporary, but we can cherish the beauty of them all the more thanks to Flower."—Gardens Illustrated

"Celebrating the beauty and appeal of flowers throughout art, history, and culture, this volume takes readers on a journey across continents and cultures to discover the endless ways artists and image-makers have employed floral motifs throughout history."—Publishers Weekly

"As deftly designed as it is readable, the volume uses flowers as eye candy, luring readers across time and continents to enjoy floral motifs."—360 West Magazine

"A substantial survey. "—The Financial Times - How to Spend It

"Absolutely a must-have in my library. The scope of floral artwork and the writing about it is mind-blowing."—Tiffanie Turner, artist, architect and author of The Fine Art of Paper Flowers

"Thematic and eclectic, Phaidon’s Explorer books are a mine of knowledge, intelligence and beauty. Flower is no exception – the richness and thoroughness of the research in this new opus is breathtaking. Page after page, we stroll through a world of ever more wonderful flowers!"—Sacha Walckhoff, Designer and Christian Lacroix Creative Director

"...a unique look at flowers and how they have been represented throughout art, history and culture... the works are juxtaposed in pairs to create connections and contrasts. Such a delight."—Emilio Ruiz Mateo, Artistic Director of Festival Flora, Spain

"... a book of dreams for flower lovers."—Christin Geall, author of Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style

"Such an incredible array of treasures... it feels infinite."—Emily Thompson Flowers, New York

"A magnificent achievement ... the dedication to perfection shines through."—T. M. Glass, digital artist and photographer

"Glorious from cover to cover, a book I will return to again and again."—Cig Harvey, artist

"Full of inspirational flower images…a great resource for anyone who loves flowers. Definitely one for the Christmas list!"—Paula Pryke OBE, florist

"A poignant and visually stunning accomplishment, showing how artists have been so devoted and obsessed with our symbiotic relationship to flowers for generations. We don't always notice them but my word, we would be utterly lost without them. A glorious read."—Raphael Verrion, Head Florist, Soho House