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Rosa Mundi

By whipspeed
Love these roses, I have one bush of them in the garden & like to take at least one photograph of the blooms each year.

This is a history of the plant:

Although roses were once popular throughout Europe during the reign of the Roman Empire, they soon lost their importance once the empire went into decline. Almost forgotten, it was the Crusaders of the twelfth and thirteenths centuries who - bringing them back from their Eastern travels -revived their popular interest. Before long the rose found its way back into the gardens of rich noblemen and wealthy merchants.

There was even some profit to be made with the return of this forgotten plant as their bright red petals were used in the production of rose-petal syrups and conserves. These were popularly sold on the pretence of 'dubious' medicinal properties, but later this formed the basis of the rose-petal industry and used in the production of perfumes.

During this period the most popular rose grown was the ‘Apothecary’s Rose’- Rosa gallica officianalis. It was also known as the ‘Red Damask which later became the famous ‘red rose’ emblem of the Lancastrian family. It was this particular rose that underwent a natural colour mutation to produce the now legendary striped rose Rosa gallica versicolor (so called as it could revert at random into an all red state). Just like the broken tulips of the Dutch Tulipmania period these striped petals s would have caused an absolute sensation bringing it to the attention of the Europes rich and famous. This plant is famously better known as the ‘Rosa Mundi’.

Rosa Mundi was first described in 1583, and according to 'The Garden Book' of Sir Thomas Hanmer (published in Eng*land in 1659) it was originally found in Norfolk '..upon a branch of the common red rose...' . However there is an earlier legend which states that the ‘Rosa Mundi’ was named after Rosa*mund Clifford, the mistress of King Henry II who reigned as England’s monarch from 1154 to 1189. Rosamund Clifford (1150-1176), also known as the "The Fair Rosamund" or "Rose of the World", was the long-time mistress of King Henry II. Henry was forced to marry Princess Eleanor who, jealous of her husbands relationship with the fair Rosamund, is said to have had her murdered by poison.
After her death, Henry and Rosamund's family paid for a tomb at Godstow Nunnery near Oxford and put an endowment in place for it to be attended by nuns who were instructed to place Rosa Mundi flowers upon it on the anniversary of her death. This became a popular local shrine until 1191 (two years after Henry died) until St. Hugh of Avalon - Bishop of Lincoln happened to visit Godstow Nunnery and saw Rosumund's tomb right in front of the high altar. It was covered with rose flowers and lit candles, and upon calling Rosamund a harlot, ordered her remains to be removed from the church. Her tomb was taken to the cemetery at the nuns' chapter house close by but it eventually became destroyed during the 'Dissolution of the Monasteries' between 1536 and 1540.

Tags: Summer Still life Rose Flowers and plants English rose Rosa Mundi

Voters: ColouredImages, Louise_Morris, silverbells and 17 more

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27 Jun 2013 7:51PM
Beautiful image - they are indeed a beautiful rose and the addition of the empty jug works well. Lou

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whipspeed 13 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2013 7:56PM
Thanks Lou, I wanted to use that empty jug to give a triangular composition. Glad it works for you.
Niknut Plus
8 1.8k 76 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2013 8:04PM
Lovely shot !!!!
AnnChown Plus
8 207 1 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2013 8:10PM
Very nicely done. Super soft colours and lovely composition.
JawDborn Plus
6 1.1k 1 England
27 Jun 2013 9:24PM
Thank you for the most fascinating commentary. A superb image, so well lit with a most appropriate back ground.

whipspeed 13 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2013 9:40PM
Thanks all, very simple Jack, just natural light on a cloudy day in the conservatory & background is the back of a roll of wallpaper.
SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
28 Jun 2013 11:09AM
Really lovely controlled whites.
whipspeed 13 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2013 1:20PM
Thank you

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