Flora Magnifica: The Art of Flowers in Four Seasons
Makoto Azuma, Shunsuke Shiinoki
Thames & Hudson, 2018
This book is not a reference work, nor it is simply a collection of beautiful flowers. It is the product of a longstanding collaboration between renowned flower artist Makoto and botanical photographer Shunsuke Shiinoki. Working together, they have selected hundreds of plant species and arranged them in striking combinations that could never exist in the natural world, so creating a unique floral aesthetic.
The result is a series of dense, luxuriant images, rich in colour and texture, in which nature and artifice are skilfully mingled. The four chapters are themed according to the cycle of the seasons: the freshness and new life of spring, the exuberance and abundance of summer, the fading grandeur of autumn and the deepening shadows of winter. Recalling the opulent still-life paintings of the 17th century, the photographs not only capture the surface beauty of the flowers, but suggest the burgeoning life brimming within them as well as its transience. From the sensuality of opening petals to the unfurling elegance of fern fronds, these gorgeous displays are vividly preserved in a meditative and inspirational book that will enchant all lovers of nature and art.