Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day with Odile Fleurs

The Valentine's Heart

Odile Fleurs 

This floral petal heart is from around 2010.  I took pictures of one of Odile's flower petal cards.  Then software filters were applied to make three variations.  I like the last one - the filter is called Turner Impressions.

Do you wonder about the origin of the heart shape that we see here? I started a search and all the answers came back with body parts - female, male, etc. They don't make much sense as it is hard to see the visual connection.  This is the one that seemed logical (and appealed to my botanical leanings).

According to Dr. Armin Dietz, a cardiologist and a man who's apparently written a book touching on this subject,

The ivy leaf portrayed by prehistoric potters of long-forgotten cultures evolved into the red playing-card heart. This botanic symbol found in ancient Greek and Roman art - primarily in vase painting - represented both physical and, above all, eternal love, withstanding death.
The final transformation of the green heart-shaped leaf into the red playing-card heart took place in medieval writings, predominantly in the central-european literature of courtly love.
During the Middle Ages and early modern times, when medicine had a scholastic character, this symbol was used even by anatomists to portray the heart.
The worldwide circulation of the heart symbol through art, playing-cards and above all, however, through religious worship, has made the heart, besides the cross, into the probably most popular non-geometric symbol and into cardiology's emblem.
He also notes,
Interestingly, in Buddhism the playing-card heart also developed - independently of the western metamorphosis - from the fig tree (the bodhi tree) into the symbol not of love, but of enlightenment.
It was under such a tree that the ascetic Gautama found liberating enlightenment through years of meditation and became the Buddha.
His website (which contains excerpts from his book) traces the evolution of the heart symbol through the ages. The ivy leaf theory is also noted in some detail here.
In conclusion, the heart symbol appears to be less gynaecological and more botanical in origin.


1 comment:

  1. Very beautiful Marilyn. Interesting too how the symbol came about though time and culture.