Imola - IA - IAVT

Imola, the centaurea, or centaury, a member of the genus of bottle flowers, is a modest but beautiful flower of the field which is quite common in Hungary. Imola – Lore has it that this flower with lavender-blue petals and a yellow centre has medicinal properties in as much as it improves people’s appetite. The style of the décor, with its casual and vibrant brushstrokes, offers a faithful rendering of the flower’s irregular, long, thin, frayed petals. This Herend décor follows the six-way structure, a natural choice for a circular shape, in which three larger motifs alternate with smaller, hardly budding flowers. One of the latter provides the centrepiece: two small flowers with a few leaves, one almost concealing the other.

The soft stem of the flower undulates along the basket-like relief work edge of the plate, also adorned with six small flowers. And one quaint little detail: the flowers around the edge slightly alter the décor’s central symmetry, as only four of them face the centre, while two face outward. The whole style of painting is characterised by mi- nor irregularities even among the larger flowers, which is only natural considering that flowers of the field can never be depicted according to strict rules. This low-key yet sprawling décor, evocative of man’s back-to-nature longing for the rustic idyll, is a true expression of the Rococo pastorale, the clean, pure ideal of beauty so fashionable in the 18th century.

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