If you’re like us, you likely have an ever-growing list of places you want to go when this is all over. Sometimes, those ideas come from the most unexpected of places. This week’s selection for Just Booked (our series on gorgeous travel-related coffee table books), Flower: Exploring the World in Bloom, is one of those sources.
Published by Phaidon this fall, this bright orange tome is filled with 4,000 years of art depicting flowers. Rather than being arranged chronologically or by genre, the works in the book are paired on facing pages to play off each other. Thus you have wondrous situations like a phantasmagoric 1736 vase with “hundred flower” decorations opposite an equally intense floral background found in Kehinde Wiley’s 2013 Portrait of James Hamilton, Earl of Arran. Or, an 1850s photogram from Anne Atkins and Anne Dickinson of common poppies juxtaposed with Macoto Murayama’s digital botanical illustrations of sweet pea flowers.
Yes, it’s a book focused on art. But for us it turned out to be one of the most useful travel books we’ve come across in a while. It’s filled with art from all these fabulous places you’ve either been or wanted to go. And, chances are, you’ve overlooked these works at the center of so much history, culture, fashion, and industry because, well, it’s flower art. But whether it’s sea daffodils from 1600 B.C. found on Santorini or still-life paintings in the Belvedere in Vienna, you’ll definitely be adding more to your must-sees.