Rudolf Steiner painted his “Archetypal Plant” watercolor in 1924, when contemporary scientific methodologies were emerging and nature was being examined under the microscope. In contrast to the dissecting, analytical tendencies of natural science, however, Steiner’s painting depicts the living, dynamic potential behind the plant—lifting us out of the specific genus and providing an image of the growing, formative forces inherent within each individual plant.
Researching Steiner’s painting of the archetypal plant can help reconnect our outer sense perceptions with the inner realm of imaginative cognition, aiding our release from the spell of matter. To support and enliven such research work and processes, Angela Lord surveys her subject from various aspects, including the historical, evolutionary relationships we share with plants; representations of plants in art and architecture; plant myths and legends; poetry inspired by flower imagery; cosmic aspects of nature, including Earth’s relationships to the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars; formative, creative forces of colors and their relationships to plant forms; and, finally, working artistically and painting the archetypal plant motif itself.
In developing a broad overview, the author forms a deeper, more complete picture of the plant world, paying homage to its diverse characteristics, and stimulating new perceptions and perspectives.
The Archetypal Plant is richly illustrated with full-color images.