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Monday, May 8, 2017
It's Iris Day!
I've just learned that today is Iris Day. Therefore, I am including a copy (posted directly above) of Vincent van Gough's painting, Irises, which can always be seen at The Metropolitan Art Museum in NYC.
Wiki states that "Van Gogh started painting irises within a week of entering the asylum, in May 1889, working from nature in the hospital garden... He called painting 'the lightning conductor for my illness,' because he felt that he could keep himself from going insane by continuing to paint."
American Meadows points out that "because of the great elegance of the iris bloom, it has been the symbol of monarchs and royal families throughout history. In fact, one of the earliest known artworks of an iris is a fresco in King Minos' palace on the Greek Island of Crete. The palace dates from 2100 BC."
The aforementioned source also claim that in addition to van Gough, "the iris has probably second place (they claim the first is the rose) as the favored flower in great art... irises appear in paintings by Leonardo daVinci, Durer, Renoir, Cezanne, Gauguin, and Claude Monet."
However, another painter, Georgia O'Keeffe who often used flowers (including irises) as her subject, did not see flowers as a "lightning conductor," rather she supposedly once said, "I hate flowers - I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move."
In any event, regarding information pertaining to Iris Day itself, a number of sources, including Holiday Insights, proclaim that this occasion is always observed on May 8th. Another web-page suggests that "the celebration of Iris Day might have Japanese roots because this flower has spiritual meaning in Japan. It is a symbol for creativity, great power and good news to come."
Upon learning this, I am tempted to go to my local bodega (they sell flowers in bunches) and stare at their irises (since I don't have them in my garden), so I can reflect on their symbol of "creativity, great power and good news to come."