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Encyclopedia > Palmette
An antefix in the form of a palmette
An antefix in the form of a palmette

As an illustration of the way in which the palmette motif was seen by 19th century architects and decorators, who in Europe, America and elsewhere in colonial cities created their own unending variations on the motif as a kind of hallmark of taste and authenticity in neo-classical urban architecture, the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica contained the following item on the palmette: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 233 KB) Summary The type of palmette commonly found as an [acroterion] Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 233 KB) Summary The type of palmette commonly found as an [acroterion] Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ...


"Palmette also called anthemion (from the Greek ανθεμιον, a flower) is an art style based on the fan-shaped leaves of a palm tree. It was largely employed in the Greek/Roman era to decorate: This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Genera Many; see list of Arecaceae genera Arecaceae (also known as Palmae or Palmaceae), the palm family, is a family of flowering plants, belonging to the monocot order Arecales. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ...

  1. the fronts of ante-fixae,
  2. the upper portion of the stele or vertical tombstones,
  3. the necking of the Ionic columns of the Erechtheum and its continuation as a decorative frieze on the walls of the same, and
  4. the cymatium of a cornice.

Though generally known as the honeysuckle ornament, from its resemblance to that flower, its origin will be found in the flower of the acanthus plant. Ante-Fixae (from Lat. ... Download high resolution version (700x1050, 163 KB)Engraving of six Ionic orders, by the French architect Julien-David Le Roy published in Les ruines plus beaux des monuments de la Grace (1758) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or... Erechtheum, from SW The Erechtheum, or Erecththeion, is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece, notable for a design that is both elegant and unusual. ... Cymatium, a molding on the cornice of some classical buildings. ... An example of a cornice along the top of a building in Wheeling, West Virginia. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 326 KB)Acanthus mollis (?) growing in the ruins of the Palatine Hill, Rome Source: antmoose, 17 May 2005 Released through Creative Commons by the photographer File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev...

This fan-like pattern of pages appealed enough to the designers of Wikipedia for them to adopt it as the background to every page. This could be because, through its resemblance to a palmette, it resonates with unconscious echoes of sacrifice, fertility and rebirth
This fan-like pattern of pages appealed enough to the designers of Wikipedia for them to adopt it as the background to every page. This could be because, through its resemblance to a palmette, it resonates with unconscious echoes of sacrifice, fertility and rebirth

This article explores the origins and evolution of the motif in the ancient world, describes the consistently important role it has played and some of the numerous forms in which it has reappeared in successive societies and religious traditions, and examines the nature and significance of the common themes that emerge. Image File history File links Wikipediabackground. ... Image File history File links Wikipediabackground. ...

Contents

Description

As an ornamental motif found in architecture, sculpture, textile design and a wide range of other media, the palmette and anthemion take many and varied forms. Typically, the upper part of the motif consists of five or more leaves or petals fanning rhythmically upwards from a single triangular or lozenge-shaped source at the base. In some instances fruits resembling palm fruits hang down on either side above the base and below the lowest leaves. The lower part consists of a symmetrical pair of elegant 'S' scrolls or volutes curling out sideways and downwards from the base of the leaves. The upper part recalls the thrusting growth of leaves and flowers, while the volutes of the lower part seem to suggest both contributing fertile energies and resulting fruits. It is often present on the necking of the capital of ionic order columns; however in column capitals of the Corinthian order it takes the shape of a 'fleuron' or flower resting against the abacus (top-most slab) of the capital and springing out from a pair of volutes which, in some versions, give rise to the elaborate volutes and acanthus ornament of the capital. In the repeated border design commonly referred to as anthemion the palm fronds more closely resemble petals of the honeysuckle flower, as if designed to attract fertilizing insects. Some compare the shape to an open 'hamsa'hand - explaining the commonality and derivation of the 'palm' of the hand. In some forms of the motif the volutes or scrolls resemble a pair of eyes, like those on the harmika of the Tibetan or Nepalese stupa and the eyes and sun-disk at the crown of Egyptian stelae. In some variants the features of a more fully-developed face become discernable in the palmette itself, while in certain architectural uses, usually at the head of pilasters or herms, the fan of palm-fronds transforms into a male or female face and the volutes sometimes appear as breasts. Common to all these forms is the pair of volutes at the base of the fan - constituting the defining characteristics of the palmette. Download high resolution version (600x875, 179 KB)Photo of date (fruit) cluster on tree in Las Vegas, Nevada, taken November 2004 by User:Stan Shebs File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Architects first real look at the Greek Ionic order: Julien David LeRoy, Les ruines plus beaux des monuments de la Grèce Paris, 1758 (Plate XX) The Ionic order forms one of the three orders or organizational systems of classical architecture, the other two canonic orders being the Doric and... The Corinthian order as used for the portico of the Pantheon, Rome provided a prominent model for Renaissance and later architects, through the medium of engravings. ... In architecture, an abacus (from the Greek abax, a slab; or French abaque, tailloir) is a flat slab that sits upon the capital of a column, forming its uppermost member. ... The acanthus is an ornament in the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders that depicts or resembles foliage of the acanthus plant. ... In architecture, ornament is decorative detail on buildings. ... Stupa at Samye Ling Monastery, Scotland A stupa (from the Sanskrit) is a type of Buddhist structure found across the Indian subcontinent, Asia and increasingly in the Western World. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1317x2006, 194 KB) de: de: Handbuch der Ornamentik Herausgeber: Fanz Sales Meyer 1. ...


Evolution

It is thought that the palmette originated in ancient Egypt, and was originally based on features of various flowers, including the papyrus and the lotus or lily representing lower and upper Egypt and their fertile union, before it became associated with the palm tree. From earliest times there was a strong association with the sun and it is probably an early form of the halo. Papyrus plant Cyperus papyrus at Kew Gardens, London Papyrus is an early form of paper made from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge that grows to 5 meters (15 ft) in height and was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt. ... Binomial name Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. ... lily is the best name in the whole wide world. ... JASON Halo may refer to: Halo (optical phenomenon), a ring of light that surrounds an object. ...

Egyptian lotus palmette: sun and open flower
Egyptian lotus palmette: sun and open flower
The hieroglyph 'akhet' of the horizon guarded by the twin lions of Aker
The hieroglyph 'akhet' of the horizon guarded by the twin lions of Aker

Among the oldest forms of the palmette in ancient Egypt was a 'rosette' or daisy-like lotus flower emerging from a 'V' of foliage or petals resembling the 'akhet' hieroglyph depicting the setting or rising sun at the point where it touches the two mountains of the horizon - 'dying', being 'reborn' and giving life to the earth. A second form, apparently evolved from this, is a more fully-developed palmette similar to the forms found in Ancient Greece. Image File history File links Lotus_palmette_with_tabs. ... Image File history File links Lotus_palmette_with_tabs. ... Image File history File links Aker_or_ruti_and_the_akhet. ... Image File history File links Aker_or_ruti_and_the_akhet. ...

Hapy, god of the Nile inundation: by making offerings and ensuring that Upper and Lower Egypt remain unified, the Pharaoh helps to guarantee that the annual flood of the Nile will recur
Hapy, god of the Nile inundation: by making offerings and ensuring that Upper and Lower Egypt remain unified, the Pharaoh helps to guarantee that the annual flood of the Nile will recur

Third is a version consisting of a clump of lotus or papyrus blooms on tall stems, with a drooping bud or flower on either side, arising from a (primal) swamp. The lotus and papyrus clump occur in association with Hapy, the god of the crucial life-giving annual Nile innundation, who binds their stems together around an offering table in the sema-tawi motif - itself echoing the shapes of the 'akhet' of the horizon. This unification scene appeared on the base of the throne of several kings, who were thought of as preserving the union of the two lands of (upper and lower, but also physical and spiritual) Egypt and thereby mastering the forces of renewal. These 'binding' scenes, and the heliotropic swamp plants appearing in them, evoked the necessity of discerning and revealing the underlying harmony, the origin of all manifest forms, that re-connects the dispersed and separate-seeming fragments of everyday experience. The further implication is that it is from this apparently occult and magical, undivided source that fertility and new life spring. Another variant of this motif is a single lotus bloom between two upright buds, a favourite fragrant offering. The god of fragrance, Nefertem, is represented by such a lotus, or is shown bearing a lotus as his crown. The lotus in Nefertem's head dress typically incorporates twin 'menats' or necklace counterpoises (commonly said to represent fertility) hanging down from the base of the flower on either side of the stem, recalling the symmetrically drooping pair of stems in the lotus and papyrus clumps mentioned above. Curiously, when depicted on Egyptian tomb walls and in formalized garden scenes, date palms are invariably shown in a similar stylistic convention with a cluster of dates hanging down on either side below the crown in this same position. The link between these hanging clusters and the volutes of the palmette is visually clear, but remains inexplicit. Rising and setting sun and opening and closing lotus are linked by the Osiris legend to day and night, life and death and the nightly ordeal of the setting sun to be swallowed by night-sky goddess Nut, to pass through the 'duat' or underworld and be born anew each morning. The plants depicted with this solar fan of fronds or petals and 'supported' by pairs of pendant blooms, buds or fruit clusters all seem especially to emulate and share in the sun's sacrificial cycle of death and re-birth and to point to the lessons it holds for mankind. It seems likely that the underlying model for all these fertile shapes, echoed by the curling cows-horn wig and sistrum-volutes of maternity-goddess Hathor, was the womb, with the twin egg-clusters of its ovaries. When the sun is re-born in the morning it is said to be born from the womb of Nut. The stylized palmette-forms of the lotus and papyrus showing the solar rosette or daisy-wheel emerging from the volutes of the calyx are similar magical enactments of the 'akhet' - this sacred moment of enhanced creation, the act of transcending or surpassing one's mortal form and 'going forth by day' as an 'akh' or higher, winged, shining, all-encompassing and all-seeing form of life. Download high resolution version (480x640, 63 KB)Colossi of Memnon. ... Download high resolution version (480x640, 63 KB)Colossi of Memnon. ... Hapy, meaning runner, was a solar deity in Egyptian mythology, and the symbolisation of the annual flood of the Nile River, which deposited rich silt on the banks, allowing the Egyptians to grow crops. ... Hapy, meaning runner, was a solar deity in Egyptian mythology, and the symbolisation of the annual flood of the Nile River, which deposited rich silt on the banks, allowing the Egyptians to grow crops. ... Painting of the Aten from Amarna The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... A crown is a symbolic form of headgear worn by a monarch or by a god, for whom the crown is traditionally one of the symbols of power and legitimacy (See Regalia for a broader treatment). ... For other uses, see Osiris (disambiguation). ... Statue of Hathor (Luxor Museum) In Egyptian mythology, Hathor (Egyptian for house of Horus) was originally a personification of the Milky Way, which was seen as the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow. ... Human female internal reproductive anatomy Ovaries are egg-producing reproductive organs found in female organisms. ...


Most early Egyptian forms of the motif appear later in Crete, Mesopotamia, Assyria and Ancient Persia, including the daisy-wheel-style lotus and bud border. In the form of the palmette that appears most frequently on Greek pottery, often interspersed with scenes of heroic deeds, the same motif is bound within a leaf-shaped or lotus-bud shaped outer line. The outer line can be seen to have evolved from an alternating frieze of stylized lotus and palmette. This anticipates the form it often took - from renaissance sculpture through to baroque fountains - of the inside of a half scallop shell, in which the palm fronds have become the fan of the shell and the scrolls remain at the convergence of the fan. Here the shape was associated with Venus or Neptune and was typically flanked by a pair of dolphins or became a vehicle drawn by sea-horses. Later, this circular or oval outer line became a motif in itself, forming an open C-shape with the two in-growing scrolls at its tips. Much baroque and rococo furniture, stucco ornament or wrought-iron work of gates and balconies is made up of ever-varying combinations these C-scrolls, either on their own, back to back, or in support of full palmettes. Genera See text. ... Download high resolution version (2048x1322, 306 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Image File history File links Trevi_fountain_(Wng). ... Adoration, by Peter Paul Rubens. ... North side of the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo - carriage courtyard: all the stucco details sparkled with gold until 1773, when Catherine II had gilding replaced with olive drab paint. ... Download high resolution version (900x624, 124 KB)Juste-Aurele Meissonnier engraved design for a side table, c 1730 engraving of c. ...


Variants and related motifs

Several antefixae with palmette designs, Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, 2nd century BCE.
Several antefixae with palmette designs, Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, 2nd century BCE.

The palmette is related to a range of motifs in differing cultures and periods. In ancient Egypt palmette motifs existed both as a form of flower and as a stylized tree, often referred to as a tree of life. Other examples from ancient Egypt are the alternating lotus flower and bud border designs, the winged disk with its pair of uraeus serpents, the eye of Horus and curve-topped commemorative stele. In later Assyrian versions of the tree of Life, the feathered falcon wings of the Egyptian winged disk have become associated with the fronds of the palm tree. Similar lotus flower and bud borders, closely associated with palmettes and rosettes, also appeared in Mesopotamia. There appears to be an equivalence between the horns of horned creatures, the wings of winged beings including angels, griffins and sphynxes and both the fan and the volutes of the palmette; there is also an underlying 'V' shape in each of these forms that parallels the association of the palm itself with victory, energy and optimism. Image File history File linksMetadata AntefixSharp. ... Image File history File linksMetadata AntefixSharp. ... Hellenistic foot fragment of a giant statue, from Ai-Khanoum, 2nd century BCE. Ai-Khanoum or Ay Khanum (lit. ... The Uraeus (plural Uraei or Uraeuses) is a stylised upright cobra (or snake / serpent), used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity and divine authority in ancient Egypt. ... The Tree-of-Life is a fictional plant (the ancestor of yams, with similar appearance and taste) in Larry Nivens Known Space universe, for which all Hominids have an in-built genetic craving. ... The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is an ethereal being found in many religions, whose duties are to assist and serve God. ...

Nike before the altar
Nike before the altar

An image of Nike, winged goddess of victory, from an attic vase of the 6th century BC, shows how the sacrificial offering alluded to by the voluted altar and flame, the wings of the goddess and the victory being celebrated, all resonate with the same multiple underlying associations carried within the component forms of the palmette motif. Similar forms are found in the hovering winged disc and sacred trees of Mesopotamia, the caduceus wand of Hermes, the ubiquitous scrolled scallop shells in the canopy of the renaissance sculptural niche, originating in Greek and Roman sarcophagi, echoed above theatrical proscenium arches and on the doors, windows, wrought iron gates and balconies of palaces and grand houses; the shell-like fanlight over the door in Georgian and similar urban architecture, the 'gul' and 'boteh' motifs of Central Asian carpets and textiles, the trident of Neptune/Poseidon, both the trident and lingam of Shiva, the 'bai sema' lotus-petal-shaped boundary markers of the Thai inner-temple, Vishnu's mount, Garuda, the vajra thunderbolt, diamond mace or enlightenment jewel-in-the-lotus of Tibet and South-East Asia, the symmetrically scrolled cloud and bat motifs and the similarly scrolled ruyi or ju-i scepter and lingzhi or fungus of longevity of the Chinese tradition. Both as a form of the lotus rising from the swamps to touch the sun and as a (palm) tree reaching from earth to heaven, the palmette carries the characteristics of the axis mundi or world tree. The fleur de lis, which became a potent and enigmatic emblem of the divine right of kings, said to have been bestowed on early French kings by an angel, evolved in Egypt and Mesopotamia as a variant of the palmette, while it is believed that the Irminsul, the sacred pillar of the Saxons and equivalent of the Norse Yggdrasil, another version of the world tree, took on its palmette form under gallo-Roman influence. Even Image File history File links Nike_before_the_altar. ... Image File history File links Nike_before_the_altar. ... The Caduceus Two caduceuses without wings as decoration of door portal in Ztracená street in Olomouc (Czech Republic). ... Florentine Renaissance painter Filippo Lippi placed his Madonna of the 1440s within a simulated shell-headed niche The niche in classical architecture is an exedra or an apse that has been reduced in size, retaining the half-dome heading usual for an apse. ... The interior of the Auditorium Building in Chicago built in 1887. ... A traditional craftsman mending a rug in Isfahan. ... Linga worship (Estate of Cynthia and Harlen Welsh) The Lingam (also, Linga; Sanskrit लिङ्गं , meaning mark, or sign, ) is used as a symbol for the worship of the Hindu god Shiva. ... For other uses, see Siva (disambiguation). ... A slate boundary stone on Maesglase A boundary marker or boundary stone is a robust physical marker that identifies the start of a land boundary or the change in a boundary, especially a change in a direction of a boundary. ... Typical cartoon representations of thunderbolts A thunderbolt is a traditional expression for a discharge of lightning or a symbolic representation thereof. ... Bodhi, the Pāli and Sanskrit word for awakening or enlightenment, is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (awake, become aware, notice, know or understand), corresponding to the verbs bujjhati (Pāli) and bodhati or budhyate (Sanskrit). ... Om Mani Padme Hum, written in Tibetan, on a rock outside the Potala Palace in Tibet. ... Mount Kailash, depicting the holy family of Shiva and Ganesha The axis mundi (axis of the world or world axis), in religion or mythology, is the world center and/or the connection between heaven and Earth. ... The fleur-de-lis (or fleur-de-lys; plural: fleurs-de-lis) is a stylised design of an iris flower which is used both decoratively and symbolically. ... The Divine Right of Kings is a European political and religious doctrine of political absolutism. ... Detail of the bent Irminsul on the Externsteine relief. ... This illustration shows a 19th century attempt to visualize the world view of the Prose Edda. ...

A garden gate in London

everyday garden gates throughout Western suburbia are topped with almost identical pairs of scrolls seemingly derived from the motifs associated with the 'akhet' and the palmette, including the related winged sun-disk and sun disk flanked with a pair of eyes. Churchyard gates, tombs and gravestones bear the motif over and again in different forms. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2592x1728, 2288 KB) Picture taken by me I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2592x1728, 2288 KB) Picture taken by me I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ...

Issues of interpretation

Ornamental motifs are often treated as though they were pleasing elements of decoration but devoid of meaning, or their meaning is considered to be lost and indecipherable. It is assumed that particular motifs were chosen by craftsmen because they or their patrons were fond of them. This is reinforced by the absence of commentary on meaning or rationale for choice of motifs from the myriad potters, draftsmen, sculptors and metalworkers who have worked with the motif. However the palmette is a good example of a motif which, even if its meaning is not articulated by the craftsmen themselves, lends itself to meaningful interpretation in view of the consistency of the functional context and positioning in which it recurs throughout its long history and its continuing use by artists. In architecture, ornament is decorative detail on buildings. ...


The possibility also exists that the meaning of ornamental motifs became, or had always been, esoteric knowledge for a select group and was not openly passed on. One reason for this would be the importance to any form of artistic medium of individual observers arriving at a personal revelation of meaning through direct contemplation and experience. The idea of the perpetuation of traditions of esoteric knowledge by close-knit groups seems to be reinforced by the striking use of the palmette and related motifs at key moments in Hollywood films (Titanic, Star Wars, Chronicles of Narnia) without the audience receiving any explanation or otherwise being made explicitly aware of the reasons or significance.


Deducing meaning from context and placement

Both in ancient and in modern usage, in East and West, the grouping of motifs we have discussed has a sacred, auspicious and often magical or miracle-working connotation, further incorporating a sublimation of sexual union and fertility. Associated both with flowers and with palm trees, the palmette brings together the fertility symbolism of both. Both the calyx of the flower and the crown of the palm tree are the centre of reproductive activity and the source of new growth, and both are graphically associated with human sexuality. The method of artificial fertilization of pistillate (female) flowers of the palm tree using the staminate (male) flowers seems to have been known to the ancient world, as depicted in Assyrian reliefs apparently showing the sprinkling of pollen on a stylized palm-tree with palmette-flowers. In various religions, sacred (from Latin, sacrum, sacrifice) or holy, objects, places or concepts are believed by followers to be intimately connected with the supernatural, or divinity, and are thus greatly revered. ... According to many religions, a miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning something wonderful, is a striking interposition of divine intervention by God in the universe by which the ordinary course and operation of Nature is overruled, suspended, or modified. ...


The most common placement of the palmette or anthemion in the ancient world was its architectural use in a repeating pattern as a border, frame or frieze. In this 'ornamental' role it supports and points to the 'main' image (deity, hero, martyr, saint...) housed in the 'naos' or 'cella' of the temple or mounted on the wall panel that it frames. Like the images themselves which are visible manifestations of invisible forces or principles, the palmette in this sense 'merely' points to where the truth can be found - not through the image itself but by the process of personal revelatory experience that the image helps to initiate. Border motifs, moldings and patterns thus convey humility and self sacrifice: asking the viewer to look beyond them to more important truths and realities. However it should be remembered that in capturing the idea of humility such motifs often themselves directly convey the essential message of the main image: the humility and sacrifice without which the higher truths represented by the image itself cannot be attained, such as the need for transcendence of the mortal self.


In this context the palmette or anthemion remained the principal ornament in the frames of fine paintings, whose essence is often the capture of moments of revelation, inspiration, annunciation, nativity or spiritual rebirth; in the proscenium arch of theatres, as the setting for the moving images of the drama, and over mirrors, which also reveal hidden truths and seem to offer passage to other worlds and their heightened levels of experience and awareness.


Recalling its use as an apotropaic amulet in Ancient Egypt, it is found in a protective, guardian role at boundary passages such as bridges and gates, over other openings such as doors, windows and balconies, and as the standard ornament for door handles and keyhole masks. There is a similar association between the palmette and the Athenian phallic boundary markers, named herms, from which the messenger-god Hermes is said to have evolved, and with the Caduceus, the wand of Hermes, the tip of which echoes the Egyptian winged disk, while the interlaced serpents recall the uraeus, and with the temple boundary markers of South and South East Asia. The ideas of frames, borders, boundary markers (and messengers) are linked. They all act as pointers - but at the same time as guardians and filters - to a womb-like inner sanctum where, under cover of a metaphorical form penetrable only to the feeling eye, fertility and new life are generated, and to which only selected, suitably humble and self-effacing aspirants may be admitted.


In other uses the palmette is not always positioned self-effacingly as if for ornament only, but is also typically given prominence at the apex or acroterion of roofs and pediments and over ritual spaces such as niches, altar pieces and fireplaces, where it appears to designate the place as sacred, or to confer a blessing. In this role the palmette is a central feature of monumental tombs and war memorials that are 'sacred to the memory of ...' - denoting remembrance in perpetuity of those who are now seen to have given their lives for others, and echoing its original function of assisting the passage of the soul to immortality. In such instances there is often a richly carved acroterion at the apex, flanked by two 'acroteria angularia' projecting at the lower corners of the triangle of the pediment, also carved in the form of a palmette or honeysuckle-petaled anthemion. This triad was originally found on ancient Greek altars and subsequently on Greek and Roman sarcophagi. Such prominent treatments suggest that, beyond its support role in frames and borders, the palmette itself has at certain points in its history been the direct object of veneration. An acroterion or acroterium is an ornament placed on a plinth or acroter at the apex of the pediment of a building in the Classical style. ... A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of a triangular section or gable found above the horizontal superstructure (entablature) which lies immediately upon the columns. ...


It is all-pervasive at the dinner table - a shared ritual transformation of the material to the spiritual - being the basis of the traditional designs of dining chair backs, silverware, dinner plates, serving bowls, ceiling roses, lampshades and other items which still find echoes in many contemporary versions.


In clear allusion to their association with love, union and fertility, palmettes feature on bedspreads, and on both wooden and iron bedsteads.


In its talisman-like association with fortune and wish-fulfilment it still plays an important part in the fantasia of fairground attractions, especially merry-go-rounds and until recently was found prominently on one-armed bandit gambling machines, juke boxes, home radio sets and cash registers. Antique three-column full-keyboard cash register, from http://www. ...


Common themes

The placement of the palmette-related motifs in ancient Egypt was on the lower registers of temple walls representing emergence of the first fertile mound from the chaos of the primal swamp, on tomb walls, on funereal monuments, on death masks, coffin lids and on door lintels. It is associated both with death and with life. It seems to have been thought of as offering communication between the two worlds. As such it is one representation of the life force surging forth from the 'akhet' or magical point where the polar dualities of heaven and earth, soul and body, life and death, male and female, east and west, north and south, separated at the beginning of the world, may be reunited. Renewed fertility flows from the 'akh' - the sublime winged being set amongst the stars that dying kings aspired to become - who re-unifies the fragmented world and attains wisdom in an enlightened, conscious act of self-dissolution and new creation, as the ultimate human achievement. The oldest appearance of the related group of motifs is at the crown of Egyptian funerary stele depicting sacrificial offerings intended to earn both renewed fertility through the Nile inundation and passage to eternal life for the dying king. Its use in religious architecture from ancient Greece to the baroque remained faithful to these original associations. Common themes can be identified among the various periods and diverse cultures in which the motif has continued to have importance. They include: the creative power over natural forces that is summoned by the simple but magical act of consciously offering or giving, as distinct from the habitual taking; the regeneration of new life through transformation in death; the renewal that can be brought about by a reunifying vision of the fragmented nature of everyday experience; the development of structured responses to chaos and suffering through the discernment of underlying order and harmony in the natural world; the attainment of self-transcendent grace through dedication, sacrifice and love; and the vigilance, imagination and ingenuity needed to interpret and adapt to changing surroundings through the creation of ever new forms and variants. In the continuing fascination with the palmette through the millennia we may sense that painful experience and acquired wisdom of successive generations has been satisfyingly distilled and organized into the seductive discipline of a beautiful image - forming a kind of organic replication template that is capable of guiding and inspiring new forms of adaptive growth and development. Immortality (or eternal life) is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite, or indeterminate, length of time. ... Dedication (Lat. ... Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome Sacrifice (from a Middle English verb meaning to make sacred, from Old French, from Latin sacrificium : sacer, sacred; sacred + facere, to make) is commonly known as the... Image File history File links Baglione. ... A summary of the three postulated methods of DNA synthesis Semiconservative replication describes the method by which DNA is replicated in all known cells. ...


References

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Additions to this article contributed by Enyama acknowledge information and insights drawn from the following publications: Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

  • 1. Jessica Rawson, Chinese Ornament: The Lotus and the Dragon; ISBN 0-7141-1431-6, British Museum Pubns Ltd, 1984
  • 2. Alois Riegl, Stilfragen. Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Ornamentik. Berlin 1893
  • 3. Helene J. Kantor, Plant Ornament in the Ancient Near East, Revised: August 11, 1999, Copyright © 1999 Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
  • 4. Idris Parry, Speak Silence, ISBN 0-85635-790-1, Carcanet Press Ltd., 1988
  • 5. Gombrich, Symbolic Images: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance, London, Phaidon, 1972
  • 6. Ernst H. Gombrich, The Sense of Order, A Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art, Phaidon, 1985

Professor Dame Jessica Rawson is the Warden of Merton College, Oxford University. ... Alois Riegl, ca. ... Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich (30 March 1909 – 3 November 2001) CBE, was an Austrian-Jewish art historian, who spent most of his working life in the United Kingdom. ...

See also

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Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... The Tree-of-Life is a fictional plant (the ancestor of yams, with similar appearance and taste) in Larry Nivens Known Space universe, for which all Hominids have an in-built genetic craving. ... Fleurs-de-lys on the flag of Quebec The fleur-de-lis (also spelled fleur-de-lys; plural fleurs-de-lis or -lys) is used in heraldry, where it is particularly associated with the France monarchy (see King of France). ... For other uses, see Christmas tree (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Nymphaea caerulea Sav. ...

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Palmette (140 words)
A band of palmettes (and lotus) is called an
One type of ancient Greek palmette resembles honeysuckle flowers, another is more like a palm leaf.
Both were used in bands of anthemion ornament.
Palmette - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2750 words)
It is thought that the palmette originated in ancient Egypt, and was originally based on features of various flowers, including the papyrus and the lotus or lily representing lower and upper Egypt and their fertile union, before it became associated with the palm tree.
In other uses the palmette is not always positioned self-effacingly as if for ornament only, but is also typically given prominence at the apex or acroterion of roofs and pediments and over ritual spaces such as niches, altar pieces and fireplaces, where it appears to designate the place as sacred, or to confer a blessing.
In this role the palmette is a central feature of monumental tombs and war memorials that are 'sacred to the memory of...' - denoting remembrance in perpetuity of those who are now seen to have given their lives for others, and echoing its original function of assisting the passage of the soul to immortality.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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