Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Floral Romance

The contemplation of nature gives a foretaste of heavenly bliss, a constant joy to the soul and a beginning of its total rebirth, and is the highest point of human happiness. When the soul partakes thereof, it is as if man is awakened from an oppressive torpor and wanders around in bright light, forgetting himself and spending his life in a sort of heavenly land.De Curositate Naturali, 1748
Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus is best known for his two-name method for identifying plants and animals. Considered the “father” of modern taxonomy, Linnaeus named approximately 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants.

Edvard Koinberg has made it his grand project to photograph the flowers classified by Linnaeus in all of their tactile, sensuous, voluptuous beauty. These photographs come from his Herbarium Amoris (Floral Romance), which follows the structure of Linnaeus's pioneering floral calender of 1756. Using specimens of more than 20,000 plants from around the world, Linnaeus grouped them according to their blooming time and classified species by the number and arrangement of their sexual organs. In the world of plants, Linnaeus writes, these organs are not hidden: on the contrary, they are usually revealed for all to see! Above all other parts of plants, they are the most beautiful and lovely, awakening our solicitude, our affection, and our eager eyes.

“I think he would have admired these pictures” writes Henning Mankell in the introduction. “Not only because of their remarkable aesthetic qualities, but just as much because they would enable him to discover something unexpected in a flower he had studied endless times before. The pictures also inspire me to see something unexpected in the familiar.” Do you agree?


  1. I love how the flowers are against a black back drop, they really stand out and leaves the focus entirely on the subject. In a way it's like looking at clouds, every time you look you see something a little different.

  2. It really is a profound experience to view them that way.