Some if you will have heard of the expression 'Tulip mania', but for the benefit of those who haven't, here's a quick horticultural lesson on what was once the most precious flower in the world.
Tulip mania erupted in the Netherlands in the 1630's, when visitors to the prosperous cities there were bewitched by the exotic and colourful blooms of the delicate bulbs. As speculation and excitement reached fever pitch, tulip bulbs became one of the most expensive commodities in the world - above spices or gold. The most sought after species were the black variety, at the time known as 'The Viceroy', and which today is commonly referred to as the 'Black Parrot'. Of course none of the flowers produced were pure black, but the trend of the time was 'the blacker the better', and more would be paid for the privilege of owning one.
Here is a particularly fine example of the species:
'Black Tulip Still Life', acrylic and watercolour by Jenny Matthews.
Now this black beauty was snapped up in a heartbeat and I can understand why, Indeed, I was somewhat tempted myself.....I was particularly taken by those 'inky spots'.
Fortunately, for those caught up in the Matthews/Tulip mania there is another damn fine example on display:
Tulips 'Palestrina and Barcelona', watercolour by Jenny Matthews.
Pretty in pink I'm sure you will agree. Better still, these glorious flowers are ever lasting, immortalised and, in modern day terms, a fraction of the price of gold with a life times guarantee of pleasure.
So the 'inky spots' were not meant for me. I leave you with a happy snap of some other 'inky spots'.
Hurry back soon for a closer and very special look at the work of Janet Melrose RSW.