When we set out to design this blog, we looked at irises—lots of them. We asked curators and members of the blog team to pick favorite irises, both literal and metaphorical. There were camera irises, like those in the cache… More»
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
—William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564
Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum