Tulips were cultivated in Constantinople as early as 1055. They did not come to the attention of the West until the sixteenth century when Western diplomats to the Ottoman court observed and reported on them. They were rapidly introduced into Europe and this eventually triggered a Tulipmania, as tulips became the most valuable flower in the world. Tulips were frequently depicted in Dutch Golden Age paintings, and have become associated with the Netherlands, the major producer for world markets, ever since.
This series presents a series of tulip arrangements from the first harvest of Dutch tulips in 2021.These tulips came from the open-air market in Leiden, the birthplace of Rembrandt van Rijn.In these images, tulips are combined with vases and with wooden tobacco pots from the 1920s, whose shapes were inspired by the tulip form. While tulips are best known for their bright, warm colors, their form is often overlooked. This series has been presented in black-and-white to give more emphasis to the different shapes that a tulip takes on as it decorates classical Dutch living rooms.
In the Netherlands today, tulips are inexpensive and practically everyone enjoys them. The evolution of the tulip from a court to a commoner's object is illustrated in the final section of the series. In this section, a young Italian model Drew, known for her alternative looks, comfortably arranges herself with different tulip bouquets.