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This is a book about flowers and about painters. The author has chosen forty of her favourite flower paintings and as she is both expert gardener and art historian, she has all manner of fascinating things to say about the flowers, the artists and the contexts of the paintings. Manet's mysterious Still Life with Rose and Brioche records the arrival of the new hybrid tea rose in all its perfection. Vanessa Bell's Red Hot Pokers and Artichoke came in the wake of Roger Fry's Post-Impressionist exhibitions in London and at a time when Bell had found refuge and creative energy with Duncan Grant at Charleston. The paintings are not always the most obvious - Van Gogh is here represented by a ravishing branch of almond blossom. But Monet has his waterlilies and Rennie Mackintosh his delicate fritillaries and there is a feast of glorious Dutch bouquets. There is old and new, known and unknown in this wonderful collection. Each painting has been chosen both to delight the eye and to offer a source of lively stories and intriguing facts.