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The Rose: Curing Society's Ills One Petal At A Time

Jan 24, 2008
The scene is almost cliché by now: husband forgets anniversary, wife loses it, husband buys dozen roses, wife forgives. The average repentant spouse doesn't realize the history behind their gift however. Roses have held a significant place as a symbol since the apex of Greek civilization, thousands of years ago. Indeed, the rose is so important that in some languages such as Spanish and French it is synonymous with the color red or pink.

The various colors of different roses widely range in significance. Red, the most common, is often used as a symbol of love, while white is said to represent innocence and purity. The black rose, impossible to produce, is used to signify death.

Nowhere is the rose more prevalent than in art. Perhaps the most well known examples of the portrayal of roses in art come from the French painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Classically trained in both botany and painting, Redouté combined these two disciplines to produce exquisite masterpieces. He looked to the rose for both its unique form and vibrant color, bringing these characteristics to life on canvas. Many of his paintings of roses are encompassed in Les Roses, a three volume collection. His art is prominently displayed in the Jardin des Plantes of the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Claude Monet also used roses in some of his painting. One of his finest paintings is Sea-Roses, an impressionist take on the rose. This work, completed in 1920, is housed in the National Gallery in London.

Roses aren't just utilized as motivation for art, however. They have value in beautifying the home, turning boring walls into gardens. Serving a double purpose, rose shrubs with their sharp barbs are often used to protect against intruders. The most prolific of rose plants can reach as high as 20 meters, a sure deterrent to any trespasser.

Roses are also known for their beautiful fragrance. Rose perfumes are made from the flower's oil, obtained from crushed petals. Incredibly, between 70 and 80 percent of rose oil comes from the "Rose Valley" near Kazanluk, Bulgaria. About two thousand roses are required to produce just one gram of oil. This results in the high prices consumers pay at department store shelves.

Growing a rose garden is a form of art in itself. A delicate green thumb is required to raise these temperamental flowers. Roses grow best in temperate climates. In recent years, a modern classification of landscape roses has become popular. These roses are genetically selected to serve the gardener as a mass-produced, hardy strain that won't require as much attention as traditional breeds. These have solid disease resistance, and offer the same color, form and fragrance, making them a great option for the novice rose gardener.

The rose is a staple of our culture. Without it, men would be relegated to sleeping on the couch even more frequently than at present. While perfume and art are important, perhaps, then, its use as a salve for relationships is the rose's most important function.
About the Author
ZaZaGallery. Located in the wine country and I must say that our art is the buss in our community. Our fine art prints are gallery wrapped using the finest canvas and inks to create a museum grade art piece. Our product is unique so visit us by clicking rose art
Thank you Hugh Parker
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