A Heaven in a Wild Flower

“When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.”
Anselm Kiefer, "For Robert Fludd"

Anselm Kiefer, “For Robert Fludd”

About the image:

“’For Robert Fludd’ … is dedicated to the … English metaphysical philosopher and alchemist (1574–1637), for whom the essence of each and every one of the universe’s elements could be found in mankind, a notion that established a cosmological order between different spheres of the universe. …

Kiefer began to make books and paintings with underlying themes devoted to Fludd in the early 1990s. This particular book contains a series of photographs illustrating the process of growth in a sunflower field. For Kiefer, sunflowers offer an optimal analogy for Fludd’s thinking about the relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm. … The book’s cover features a black-and-white photograph of a sunflower. Inside, photographs chart sunflowers growing, ripening, and losing their seeds, which Kiefer represents with real sunflower seeds collaged on the pages. The sunflowers ultimately shrivel and disappear, until only the seeds are left. In the subsequent sheet, the scattered seeds are replaced by an image of a starry sky.”

Via http://www.guggenheim-bilbao.es/en/works/for-robert-fludd/

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12 Responses to A Heaven in a Wild Flower

  1. litebeing says:

    Thank you for posting the stunning image and documentation of my newest insight about astrology. No one I know or read has ever made this claim but I go intuitively that we are made up of all the same material and it gets recycled if you will ( quantum level)

    Oh I also adore sunflowers ( My ruler in Leo, hehe)

    hugs,
    Linda

  2. Pingback: A Heaven in a Wild Flower | lampmagician

  3. How interesting. I love Whitman’s poem, and have felt that so much myself when I look up at the stars, as so many of us do. And I’ve always been quite interested in paradigms prevalent in the 16th century that have such interesting parallels with paradigms that emerged in postmodern times. The fact that what he describes here, the similarities between the macro and micro universes is now described as fractal self-similarity, and you can find photos of veins in a leaf, for instance, that replicate photos from space of our largest rivers and their tributaries. There are in fact scientific reasons for those similarities that we are just beginning to explore. Fascinating stuff. Thank you for sharing.

    • I agree we are finally and slowly catching up with the wisdom of the Renaissance. “Fractal self-similarity” is perhaps the most stunning discovery of modern science. This is so fascinating. Thank you for your comment.

  4. Hi Monika.
    Thanks for sharing some of Kiefer’s work that was new to me. There are some fascinating insights into his work from a couple of videos that were part of an online art course that unfortunately are incomplete as they contain only 2 of the 4 videos that were part of the original recording.
    Check them out if you are interested as they expand on the text from the Guggenheim link.

    • Will do definitely! I am a big fan these videos. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • I have just seen the first video and, interesting as it is, I think he totally missed the point about the Margherita painting, which is an obvious reference to a famous poem by Paul Celan. I also really disagreed with the critic’s patriarchal stance on Lilith. But nothing would diminish the beauty of Kiefer’s art of course. Thank you.

  5. Maria F. says:

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful work from Kiefer, “For Robert Fludd”. The sunflower analogy is just so beautiful, and it comes so timely for me because my poetry likes to narrate these transcendental cosmological views of life.

    • Thank you, dear Maria. I think growing flowers is like poetry, isn’t it?

      • Maria F. says:

        Yes, I see every living creature, and flowers included, as microcosms under larger macrocosms with similar patterns, except that plants and flowers are more exposed to the elements and there is like automatic lyricism and poetry for everyone; whereas with other human affairs it takes longer to find this harmony because the nature of the average human is to “endure” life because we have been ill-equipped ever since prehistory. This is why Nature always has the poetry.; but humans have to learn, grow and endure hardship before coming to find the lyricism involved. I see humans as being in the bottom of the food chain.

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