A flower with multiple colors and as many meanings. General characteristics
Iris, due to the shape and color of its flowers, is recognized for its ability to evoke entirely positive states of mind, such as increasing self-esteem, finding the balance of mood, the inner refreshment that comes from from respect for truth and the search for wisdom.
All qualities well summarized by the shape of this flower, which appears well upright and looks outstretched towards the sky and therefore, at a philosophical level, towards the divine.
One of the features of the Iris is that in this plant the number three occurs, namely that of the Christian Trinity.
There are three buds of each stem, three are the petals at the top and also the falling petals. And it is for this reason that Christian iconography has adopted it as a symbolic image of faith and therefore also of wisdom.
In botany Iris, a rhizomatous plant, is a genus comprising at least two hundred plants belonging to the Iridaceae family. Its flowers are known as gaggioli.
Six are the subgenes and precisely Iris tout court, Limniris, Scorpiris, Hermodactyloides, Xiphium, Nepalensis.
The language of flowers: the messages of the Iris
According to the rules of floral language, that is the meaning to be attributed to the act of giving certain particular flowers to a person, a bunch of iris represents a demonstration of openness of credit and sympathy.
It can therefore be particularly suitable for some occasions, such as a birthday or a particular anniversary, as part of a friendly relationship or even as a couple.
These flowers are also indicated to comfort a sick or convalescent person. Very suitable for graduation or graduation parties as we have already mentioned, the Iris is also a symbol of wisdom, therefore of wisdom and therefore of success in the workplace.
In the long history of this plant, however, there is also the considerable appreciation received among the peoples of Asia. In the east of the Asian continent, in particular, the Iris is considered a sort of talisman that protects from evil spells. And in fact in the past it was drawn over the armor of the soldiers who went to battle, to protect them.In Japan, the White Lily was a trademark which could be used only by noble families, protagonists of acts of heroism and value.As we have already written, this plant generates flowers of many colors.The purple iris is also called giaggiolo of S. Antonio and is considered an image that evokes wisdom.The blue one (fragrant Giaggiolo) represents faith and hope.The white one stands for purity (also called Giglio di Firenze).In Greek mythology this flower was embodied by the Goddess Iris, a tireless messenger, daughter of the nymph Elettra, accustomed to ascending the rainbows of Mount Olympus.The Goddess Iris then had the function of accompanying the souls of death to the Elysian Fields and for this reason the Greeks used to place bunches of purple Iris on the graves of their family or friends. She was depicted as a young and beautiful girl, with fluttering clothes and often also with wings on her feet, to emphasize her dynamism and vitality.The Iris represented by Christian iconography
The figure of the Iris is very present in the Christian Iconography, as an alternative to the lily that can be observed in the works that represent the Madonna.
The white Irises signify the purity and incorruptibility of the Virgin, while those with blue petals make it honor by recognizing in it the Regina Caeli.
The widespread use of Iris in the world of modern art
In the history of art, the paintings depicting purple irises painted by the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, an extraordinary and unregulated talent who once painted them in southern France in the late 1800s, are famous. In his paintings the Iris are all purple, except one case in which the artist immortalized a white one.
Even Claude Monet, a great French painter, painted Iris, drawing inspiration from the nature of Normandy, where he lived from 1883 to 1926, and precisely from the garden of Giverny.
Also the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe received considerable attention from critics thanks to her works depicting a series of Irises, among which "Black Iris" (1906) and "White Iris 7".
Iris meaning: Iris in the oldest art
In Minoan art there are many examples of depictions of Iris, relating to a period between the 17th and 16th centuries A. C.
Images of Iris have also been found inside the temple of Amon in Karnak and in the botanical garden of Pharaoh Tuthmosis, in Egyptian territory.