Vintage landscape: flowers amicorum

May bouquet, 1880s, Alkmaar Archives on flickrA watercolor by Margaretha Roosenboom from an album amicorum created for the writer Anna Louisa Geertruida Bosboom-Toussaint on the occasion of her 70th birthday in 1882, via Archief Alkmaar Commons on flickr.

The album (684 loose sheets in an ornamental wooden box) contained drawings, watercolors, photographs, text, and music by friends and admirers.

The contributors represented a cross section of the cultural elite in 19th century Netherlands and Belgium, including many artists who were part of the Hague School.

After Bosboom-Toussaint’s death, the album was eventually given to her hometown of Alkmaar and is now in the collection of the Regional Archief Alkmaar.

To see some flower arrangements created and shared today, please visit Cathy at the blog Rambling in the Garden. She hosts “In a Vase on Monday.”

Life in gardens: many pretty devises

Embroidering in the garden, via British Library“Ladies seated at their embroidery, including one engaged in lace-making, and another at the virginal, with a man beside her singing. Behind, a formal garden, with clipped hedges, parterres, and fountain.”  

The image  is from the Album Amicorum of Gervasius Fabricius, 1603-1637, (Würzburg and Salzburg) via The British Library Commons on flickr.

It’s hard to see how any of them could work over their ruffs.

Now for women instead of laborious studies, they have curious Needle-workes, Cut-workes, spinning, bone-lace, and many pretty devises of their own making, to adorne their houses, Cushions, Carpets, Chairs, Stooles, confections, conserves, distillations, etc. which they shew to strangers. . . . This they have to busie themselves about, household offices, etc. neate gardens full of exotick, versicoloure, diversely varied, sweet smelling flowers, and plants, in all kindes, which they are most ambitious to get, curious to preserve and keepe, proud to possesse, and much many times to bragge of.

Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621