During the medieval period (C6 – C13) hundreds of varieties of flowers were introduced into Europe via the Crusades. Secluded gardens provided a secret place for lovers away from prying eyes. ‘I found her in an arbour, sweet, under a bough’ is the sort of phrase that opened many a medieval troubadours love ballad. Climbing plants covered a lover’s bower; honeysuckle, wildrose and grape were planted to grow on a trellis. As a young man in the fifteenth century in Germany Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) was apprenticed to Michael Wolgemut, chief illustrator of the Nuremberg Chronicle. He travelled widely and his work as a painter was only exceeded by his ability to engrave on metal. He introduced a new note of botanical accuracy into his watercolour studies of flowers, of which only ten survive. The plants are depicted exactly as he saw them growing in the field, not as individual specimens.
Carolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian, Carolyn is an interior designer by trade. She has been involved in the creative sector for over thirty years in Australia; completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. She has over that time continuously conducted independent research , while designing, developing, and producing educational art and design history programs in conjunction with renowned specialist colleagues.