The sunbeam, after gentle showers,
Is not more loved by drooping flowers,
Within their noontide shady bowers,
Than thou art loved by me, love.

In the 16th century, a romantic “language of flowers” was brought to the West from the Ottoman Empire. It became very popular during the 19th century. Many flowers send messages of love. Thus, forget-me-nots mean “true love.” The purple violet means “You occupy my thoughts,” while the blue violet implies, “Faithfulness.” White roses suggest “I am worthy of you,” while red roses say “I love you.”
The sunbeam, after gentle showers,
Is not more loved by drooping flowers,
Within their noontide shady bowers,
Than thou art loved by me, love.

In the 16th century, a romantic “language of flowers” was brought to the West from the Ottoman Empire. It became very popular during the 19th century. Many flowers send messages of love. Thus, forget-me-nots mean “true love.” The purple violet means “You occupy my thoughts,” while the blue violet implies, “Faithfulness.” White roses suggest “I am worthy of you,” while red roses say “I love you.”

© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Flowers and Poems

Front: “With/the fondest/ wishes/ of my Heart” Back: “I send / dear love / this / offering to thee”

Photo Credit: Musée Colby-Curtis
Marcus Ward Co.
c. 1860–1890
Silk fringe, colour printing, silver and gold leaf, fold-out.
20.2 x 13.8 cm
2003.2.
© Musée Colby-Curtis-Société historique de Stanstead.


Temple with Flowers

The temple is one of the romantic icons related to the theme of love. Inside, there's an illustration of a man declaring his love to a woman in a beautiful sylvan landscape.



“The sunbeam, after gentle showers,

Is not more loved by drooping flowers,

Within their noontide shady bowers,

Than thou art loved by me, love.”

George C. Whitney
Photo Credit: Musée Colby-Curtis
c. 1866–1942
Paper lace, small coloured wafer papers, colour printing, gold leaf.
17.4 x 11.5 cm
2003.3.
© Musée Colby-Curtis-Société historique de Stanstead.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Explain how symbolism is used to represent romantic emotions in Valentine’s greetings
  • Describe the types of symbols traditionally used to represent feelings of love and affection

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