Middle age and Renaissance painters often depicted portraits of young women attended by an aged crone, a reminder that youth eventually fails. More specific to these flowers are the genre of Vanitas paintings which at their most subtle might be a bowl of fruit or flowers with a few beginning to age or rot, at their most extreme they might contain momenti mori a real symbol of eventual death (often in the form of a skull or an hour glass.)
Yesterday was a gorgeous spring day and we stopped to buy white roses late in the afternoon. This rainy morning they had already started to curl and brown at the edges even as they we’re blooming. In that way they remind me of the way the french create rose bouquets that always feel one or two day past their prime. The beginning of decay makes them all the more beautiful. Today, of course, has been cold and rainy and there is little except these roses which remind us of the warm, sunlight and petal strewn afternoon we passed yesterday.